Gropius House

Birthday Card: Alexander Schawinsky, 1943

“vivat pius!” (long live pius!) reads the heading of “Xanti” Schawinsky’s card. A teacher in the stage workshop at the Bauhaus and a graphic artist, Schawinsky became one of Gropius’s closest friends during the Bauhaus years. Always animated, he was the life of any party. The words running between the fingers of the handprint spell out the names of Schawinsky’s family: “xanti,” “ren” (his wife, Irena) and “jamin” (his son, Benjamin, whose handprint is the central feature of the card). At the bottom he signs as one composite name.