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Bauhaus

Art academy

Found
1919 in Weimar
Dissolved
1933 in Berlin

History

The founding in 1919 of the state art academy Bauhaus in Weimar provided a decisive impetus for the art of the modern age. Under the direction of Walter Gropius a new institute of art was formed by merging the local art academy and the school of arts and crafts. It had a very specific educational mission. The intellectual-artistic and technical-craftsman-like training courses were to be combined in order to facilitate a practical cooperation between art, industry and social lifestyles. The courses covered a wide spectrum; there were workshops for wall painting, weaving, printing, glass painting, book binding, wood and stone sculpture, metalworking, carpentry, stage design, pottery and later also architecture. In addition, there were courses in photography, typography and Light Art. Artists like Josef Albers, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Theo van Doesburg, László Moholy-Nagy and Oskar Schlemmer worked as teachers at the Bauhaus. The appointment of these representatives of different artistic movements throughout Europe made the Bauhaus into a hub of the international avant-garde in the 1920s. In the founding phase the main focus lay on abolishing the distinction between art and crafts. After the appointment of Moholy-Nagy in 1923 the doctrine increasingly followed the principles of functionalism and placed art in the service of modern industrial design. This also reflected the influence of the De Stijl movement, whose programmatic approach was propagated by its co-founder Theo van Doesburg, who worked at the Bauhaus as a teacher between 1921 and 1922. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau and in 1932 to Berlin, where it was closed by the National Socialists the following year. Many representatives of the art school were subsequently compelled to emigrate from Germany. This meant that their concepts could be spread internationally, especially in the United States. To this day the term Bauhaus is synonymous with the abstract-constructivist design principles of the modern age.

Persons belonging to Bauhaus