Staatliches Bauhaus (1919-1933)

The school of Bauhaus was the first school of modern design based on the cooperation between students, famous artists, designers and craftsmen.

Front of Bauhaus building in Dessau.

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The School

The Bauhaus, Staatliches Bauhaus in German, was a school of architecture, design and applied arts. It was founded in Weimar in 1919, then moved to Dessau from 1925 to 1933, and in the end it was placed in Berlin for few months. The Bauhaus was founded by the architect Walter Gropius who directed the school in the first years. In 1925 in Dessau, Gropius projected a new building for the school, modern and original that became the symbol of Bauhaus. It was built to manage in the best way studios, classrooms and offices, with big windows and a “L” configuration to optimize the light.

Bauhaus building, by Walter Gropius (1925).

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In 1930 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became director but had to shut down the school because of the raise of Nazi regime. He opened a New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937.

The Teachers

Important artists who taught at Bauhaus

  •  Walter Gropius
  •  Lyonel Feininger
  • Johannes Itten
  •  Paul Klee
  •  Wassily Kandinsky
  •  Oskar Schlemmer

The way they taught in Bauhaus was based on pedagogy and inclusive standards; they were admitted women and students from every social class. At the beginning, students had to attend some courses for six months, held by two people, a famous European artist for the theory and a craftsman for the practice. Some of them were Paul Klee for painting and stained glass, Wassily Kandinsky for wall painting, Oskar Schlemmer for sculpture, Marcel Breuer for interior, Lyonel Feininger for graphic arts, Herbert Bayer for typography and advertising, Gerhard Marcks for pottery, and Georg Muche for weaving.

A wall painting by Oscar Schlemmer in Bauhaus building.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oskar_Schlemmer_-_Bauhaustreppe_1932.jpg

The Courses

The cabinetmaking workshop was one of the most popular in Dessau; the director was Marcel Breuer that, using the extruded steel tubes, projected his most famous chair.

Another popular workshop was the textile one of Gunta Stölzl, in which students studied colour theory and design and the practice of weaving. They used also some untypical materials, like fiberglass, cellophane and metals.

Metalworking workshop was as famous as the Breuer’s one; directed by Marianne Brandt, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Christian Dell, created a new category of products, lamps.

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Some professors at Bauhaus

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Arras by Gunta Stolz (1926-1927).

Image source: https://www.edatlas.it/scarica/galleria_disegno/tessuti/tessuti.html

Tea kit by Marianne Brandt.

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The Style

The style of Bauhaus products was very elegant and geometric, based on the ideal of a modern design, beautiful and accomplished with the mechanism of mass production.

Serie of chairs in Bauhaus building.

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Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer

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Site sources:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bauhaus

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/bauh/hd_bauh.htm