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Sibyl Moholy-Nagy was born Dorothea Maria Pauline Alice Sibylle Pietzsch in Dresden, Germany. Her parents were Martin Pietzsch, a noted architect, and his wife Fanny Clauss Pietzsch. After attending the University of Dresden, she became an actress in Berlin, under the name Sibyl Peech, and later a film scriptwriter. In 1929, she met László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian Bauhaus artist and photographer with whom she worked on editing a film. They married in 1932 and had two daughters. After the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, the family moved to Amsterdam and then to London, before emigrating to the USA in 1937. They settled in Chicago, where Sibyl assisted her husband in running the New Bauhaus School and then the Chicago Institute of Design. She published her first and only novel, Children's Children, in 1945. After her husband's death in 1946, when she was 43, she became an architectural historian, critic, and teacher. Her biography of her husband, Moholy-Nagy: Experiment in Totality (1950), established her reputation. She had professional relationships with such figures as Walter Gropius, Philip Johnson, and Carlos Raul Villanueva. She wrote Matrix of Man: An Illustrated History of Urban Environment (1968), and contributed articles to architecture magazines such as Architectural Forum and Progressive Architecture. In 1951, after holding teaching positions in Chicago and San Francisco, she took a job as associate professor of architecture history at the Pratt Institute in New York City, where she taught courses on such subjects as urban history and design. She retired in 1969, and served as a visiting professor at Columbia University until her death.
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