Robert Michel was born 1897 in Vockenhausen near Frankfurt. At the outbreak of World War I he became an air pilot, but after a crash in 1917 he was sent to a military hospital in Weimar. That year he enrolled at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Weimar, soon to become part of the Bauhaus, where he met Ella Bergmann. They married in 1919 and she adopted the surname Bergmann-Michel. After producing drawings and woodcuts using circles and other geometrical elements, he turned to collage in 1918. The early works incorporated collage elements into a painted and drawn design, with overtly mechanical images such as cogs, dials and wheels and often words. In 1918 he took a studio of his own in Weimar and in 1919 was in contact with the newly founded Bauhaus. Though the Bauhaus quickly became interested in mechanical images, Michel found Gropius too doctrinaire and so refrained from joining. In 1920 he left Weimar for Vockenhausen, which remained his home until shortly before his death in 1983.
- Born in Vockenhausen, near Frankfurt, Germany
- Enrolled at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Weimar
- Married Ella Bergmann
- Died in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany