By Magdalena Droste
A woodcut of a cathedral, by Lyonel Feininger, illustrated the four page Bauhaus Manifesto. Beams of light converging upon the cathedral's three spires representing the three arts; architecture, sculpture and painting.
Over seventy years after its foundation in Weimar, the Bauhaus has become a concept all over the world. The respect which it commands is associated above all with the design it pioneered, one which we now describe as "Bauhaus style".
The teachers at the Bauhaus included the leading artists of the times, among them Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, and Oscar Schlemmer. The teaching strategies developed were adopted internationally into the curriculum of art and design institutes.
The development of the Bauhaus unfolded more or less in tandem with the history of the First German Republic. Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in 1919 in Weimar, under the National Assembly, and in 1925 moved the school to Dessau where he he was able to practice his aim to develop everything from the simplest domestic utensil to the finished building.
The new Dessau-Bauhaus school, designed by Gropius, and the Master's houses he built for the Bauhaus teaching staff, became the epitome of modern architecture in Germany.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus, dissolved the school in Berlin in 1933, under heavy pressure from the National Socialists who had seized power just a few month before.
With Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer becoming architects and architecture teachers at Harvard, and likewise Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Chicago, the Bauhaus avant-garde architecture developed in the twenties became known as the International Style. An exhibition at MoMA, and a book in conjunction with the exhibition, by historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock and architect Philip Johnson, established the name.
Last updated: December 19, 2013