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Alma Siedhoff-Buscher

Alma Siedhoff-Buscher

Alma Buscher (1899-1944) studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau from 1922 to 1927.

For the entirety of its existence, the Bauhaus was also devoted to the world of children. As far back as 1919, students of the Bauhaus school sold self-made products at the marketplace in Weimar, while children's furniture was subsequently made in the workshops too. At the centre of this movement was Alma Buscher, who from 1923 made children's furniture that was simple, practical and usually multifunctional: her games cabinet, for example, wasn't just a storage place, but also offered multiple boxes for playing - an opening in the cabinet door even made it a stage for puppet theatre.

Alma Buscher attended the prestigious Reimann School in Berlin from 1917, a private art school with progressive methods and a practical orientation for arts and crafts that also furthered the education of women - which at the time was not so commonplace. In 1920 Alma changed to the educational wing of the German Museum of Decorative Arts where she worked primarily on commercial customer orders.

Alma Buscher considered herself restricted due to the heavy dependence on customer wishes, for which reason she enrolled at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1922. After successfully completing an initial course with Johannes Itten and a number of artistic opportunities, e.g. in lessons with Klee and Kandinsky, Theo van Doesburg and in a painting seminar by Hirschfeld-Mack, the administration attempted to place Alma Buscher, like all women, into weaving.

After applying at Gropius, Alma Buscher was successful in changing to woodcarving in order to develop wooden children's toys and utensils. Here she also designed the legendary children's furniture for the children's room at the Haus am Horn in Weimar, the model home for the Bauhaus Exhibition in 1923. Bauhaus attracted remarkable success with this children's room. Its furniture was some of the few objects from the Weimar period with several copies. They were part of Bauhaus' official visual identity.

In addition to children's furniture, Alma Buscher created a puppet theatre in 1923 as well as both of the famous Bauhaus ship games. The smaller building game includes 22 coloured wooden tokens as well as a sheet of suggested actions, which prove the versatility of this game.

After marrying the actor Werner Siedhoff in 1926, who was active on the Bauhaus stage, and giving birth to two children, Alma Siedhoff-Buscher gave up her design work though contributed to the family budget with commissioned work. Alma Buscher died in 1944 during an air raid near Frankfurt.