In the post-WWII era, Aspen was plucked out of obscurity by Chicago industrialist, Walter Paepcke, and transformed from mining ghost town to the home of the Aspen Skiing Corporation and the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (today’s “SkiCo” and Aspen Institute). Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth, had a vision, but they needed someone with an eye.
Enter: Herbert Bayer. A former master at the Bauhaus art school in Germany, Bayer emigrated to the U.S. and was working as an ad man when Paepcke tapped him to come out to Aspen. The plan was to have Bayer draw plans for the Institute’s new campus. He ended up staying and not only designing the Institute site, but also building the Sun Deck on top of Aspen Mountain, overseeing the restoration of several historic buildings such as the Wheeler Opera House, and creating the overall branding for the town.
“Ski in Aspen,” a poster created for the Aspen Chamber of Commerce in the 1950s, Courtesy of Aspen Historical Society, Bayer Collection
As a true renaissance man—architect, painter, art director, graphic designer, photographer, and interior designer—Bayer’s talents were applied to everything from designing the stationery for the Hotel Jerome, to creating the first posters advertising skiing in Aspen. It is through Bayer’s wit and love of skiing that the world was first introduced to Aspen.
His enduring legacy is proof that good design is both timeless and universal, and is something we strive to achieve in everything Aztech Mountain makes. This season, you can peek inside our signature Nuke Suit for a little taste of Herbert Bayer. You’ll find a little piece of our hometown history you can take with you wherever your next adventure takes you.
See You On The Slopes!