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Masked Self-Portrait, 39A, Dessau (Maskenselbstportrait, 39A, Dessau)

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Gertrud Arndt
German, 1903–2000

About this artwork

The German Bauhaus (1919–33) revolutionized the study of art and design through a rigorous combination of theoretical and practical training across disciplines. Gertrud Arndt came to the Bauhaus in 1923 to study architecture, but like the majority of women who enrolled, she was pushed into the textile department, from which she graduated in 1927. She experimented with photography in her spare time and in 1929 received training from Bauhaus photography instructor Walter Peterhans. Cobbling together accessories and fabric into makeshift costumes, she produced a series of 43 staged self-portraits called Maskenporträts (Masked Portraits). Arndt later claimed she was “simply interested in the face” and its ability to transform the self through costume and expression. Her photographs sketch out a range of female roles and moods: an Asian woman, a grieving widow, a naive young girl, a proper lady, and, in this case, a bewildered vamp.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Gertrud Arndt


Masked Self-Portrait, 39A, Dessau (Maskenselbstportrait, 39A, Dessau)


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1930


Gelatin silver print


Image: 21.8 × 13.7 cm (8 5/8 × 5 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

David Travis Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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