In 1929, a few years after she finished studying applied arts at the Bauhaus, Gertrud Arndt returned to the school’s Dessau location with her husband, who had become an instructor. There, she embarked on the one major photographic project of her career: Maskenselbstbildnis (1930). These forty-three black-and-white pictures show the artist, dressed up in eccentric costumes, impersonating different kinds of women, including young girls, grieving widows, crying geisha, and bejewelled ladies in flowery, feathered hats. In Maskenselbstbildnis Nr. 13, Arndt is wearing lipstick, with her short hair hidden under a cloche and a sheer, embroidered organza veil covering her face and shoulders: she represents the ideal woman of the Weimar Republic, the prototypical Neue Frau (New Woman), with the proud gaze of someone who has a role in society and uses fashion to show it. Though the Maskenselbstbildnis series uses crude sets and printing techniques, it achieves extraordinary results, blending the strangeness of Surrealism with the lucid gaze of the photography movement known as Neue Sehen (New Vision). Gertrud Arndt is one of the most independent female artists to have worked within the Bauhaus community; moving beyond its formal restrictions, she explores the many different facets of her identity, theatrically putting herself at the service of each.