The Bauhaus

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  • Topic: Bauhaus, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius
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  • Published : November 4, 2010
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Fundamentals of 2D Design
Mr. Brian Ritchard

From the left: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy Hungarian painter and photographer, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee Swiss painter, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stolzl and Oskar Schlemmer.

Everyone has their own ideas about Utopia and the perfect society, especially around election time. It begins with a vision, imagination, money and a desire for you, the society that you’re in and the nations of people after you the freedom to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life. Utopian ideas are usually born and fostered in the minds of a depressed or oppressed society, where its inhabitants are yearning to experience the opposite of their present circumstances. Walter Gropius, a German born architect and sergeant major in World War I had his own idea of utopia. His ideas about art education and design revolutionized society and gave birth to the greatest design institution of the 20th century. This is where the story of the Bauhaus, a revolutionary school of architecture and design begins and its legacy and masterpieces continues to influence the world today.

Utopian Beginnings

From a Walter Gropius Radio interview in 1968:

[1]“I still remember when I came out of the first World War there was one moment in my life which I do not forget, but all of a sudden I became aware that I would have to take part in something completely new which would change the conditions that I had been living before. When I think of the beginning of my life there had been utopian ideas and nobody thought they would be reality, but they became reality today” From the First Proclamation of the Weimar Bauhaus by WALTER GROPIUS

The Bauhaus (building house) was the utopian idea of a school of architecture and design from a German born architect named Walter Gropius. He had the idea that the world would be better served if society experienced the world from an aesthetic view. With his renowned love for architecture and design Gropius was asked to found an art school, and after his completion of service in the military he published a manifesto of his revolutionary ideas for his ‘dream’ school. [2]Lyonel Feininger, Painter, Cartoonist designed the cover for Gropius’ Bauhaus 1919 manifesto - an expressionist woodblock 'cathedral' (Feininger also taught at the Bauhaus for several years). The radical attitude of the manifesto reflected the consciousness of the German society of that time. All the Bauhaus directors were architects.

[3]“The ultimate aim of all creative activity is a building! The decoration of buildings was once the noblest function of fine arts, and fine arts were indispensable to great architecture. Today they exist in complacent isolation, and can only be rescued by the conscious co-operation and collaboration of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must once again come to know and comprehend the composite character of a building, both as an entity and in terms of its various parts. Then their work will be filled with that true architectonic spirit which, as "salon art", it has lost.”... "Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as "professional art". There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman.”... Let us create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist. Together let us conceive and create the new building of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will rise one day toward heaven from the hands of a million workers, like the crystal symbol of a new faith.”

The school’s original objective was to combine arts and crafts, sculpture, painting, applied arts, and skills, as the...
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