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3 eras 1919 Weimar, Germany 1925 - Dessau 1932 Berlin 1933 Closed

3 Heads Walter Gropius (19191927) Hannes Meyer (1927-1930) Ludwig Meis Van Der Rohe (1930 -1933)

Result of an continued effort to reform applied art education in Germany involving many eminent figures like Poelzig, Peter Behrens and Van de Velde. Van de Velde started a school in Weimar, supported by the progressive Weimar Republic. He was forced to resign as an alien, and suggested Gropius could take his place. There was an initial conflict about the place of the school, whether applied art could be separated from fine art; Gropius believing in autonomy. The institute was established as a composite. Cathedral of the future coming together of painting, sculpture and architecture in the way of the old cathedrals. Asked artists to return to craft as that was the only way art could be of use to society. There should be no class distinction between art and craft a new guild of craftsmen should be created without these barriers. The word Bauhaus came from Bauhutte a medival masons lodge. (Cathedral builders lived in lodges and completed their building work thus the name). Art and manufacturing were one at this point, and had drifted apart since.

Socialistic tendencies under Gropius.

The early days of the school were dominated by the painter Johannes Itten. Central to the school's operation was its original and influential curriculum. It was described by Gropius in the manner of a wheel diagram, with the outer ring representing the Vorkurs, a six-month preliminary course initiated by Johannes Itten. It concentrated on practical formal analysis, in particular on the contrasting properties of forms, colors and materials. The two middle rings represented two three-year courses 1. the Formlehre, focused on problems related to form, and 2. Werklehre, a practical workshop instruction that emphasized technical craft skills. These classes emphasized functionalism through simplified, geometric forms that allowed new designs to be reproduced with ease. At the center of the curriculum were courses specialized in building construction that led students to seek practicality and necessity through technological reproduction, with an emphasis on craft and workmanship that was lost in technological manufacturing. The basic pedagogical approach was to eliminate competitive tendencies and to foster individual creative potential and a sense of community and shared purpose.

Itten personally also was an anarchist, believed the mind stood outside organization and when it has been organized (state or curch) it has become estranged from itself. The state has no business giving welfare to artists. He also was a part of a cult known as the Mazdaznan religion the horrors of the 1st world war made him want to look inwards and find spirituality. There was a rift between Itten and Gropius; worsened by the arrival in 1921-22 by the arrival of Theo Van Doesburg and Wassily Kandinsky. Van Doesburg was a part of the Dutch movement De Stijl he favoured a rational, antiindividualist aesthetic. His impact was immediately visible on the output of the workshops, and he questioned the open ended nature of the syllabus. His presence and the socio-economic climate made Gropius modify the original program there was a focus on reconciling craft design and industrial production. Itten resigned.

Ittens place was taken by Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, who rewrote the Vorkurs with a leaning towards the New Objectivity favored by Gropius. He gave an example of how he produced his work by telephone the pictures were a series of squares on paper, and he had the colour chart of the factory in front of him. He told the factory owner by phone, what colour went in which square, and it came produced for him. Programmed art production impressed Gropius; and he invited Moholy-Nagy to take over the preliminary course and the metal workshop. They experimented with materials like wood, glass, metal and wire to create equilibrium structures or free standing asymmetrical structures. The focus was not on the feelings produced by material, but their statical and aesthetic properties. Constructivist elementarist style was adopted under Moholy-Nagy. A manifestation of the style was the sans-serif typography adopted by Bauhaus. Two model houses were built during this period: Sommerfield house by Gropius and Meyer in 1922 Designed as a traditional log house Interiors made of carved wood and stained glass to create the complete work of art

Bauhaus Versuchshaus or Experimental House by Muche and Meyer in 1923. Conceived as a sachlich or a smoothly rendered object intended as a living machine. Used labour saving mechanized production methods It had minimum circulation built around an atrium a living room lit by clerestories and surrounded by bedrooms and other ancillary spaces. Exposed radiators and elements, and light fixtures unshaded pieces were handmade in workshops. Standardized bathroom and kitchen equipment

The building for the Dessau Bauhaus was completed in 1926. There was a politically enforced move to Dessau from Weimar. There was a crystallization of a unified method in Bauhaus, which emphasized deriving form from productive method, material constraint and programmatic necessity.

Greatest production was the Marcel Breuer chair: product design. He produced tubular lightweight chairs and tables that were convenient, easy to clean, and economical. There was a licensed production of Bauhaus designs including lamps, chairs, fabrics, etc. Typography became famous for its simplicity and austerity and for removing capitalization. Gropius resigned in 1928 his place was taken by Hannes Meyer, a swiss architect. He believed it was time for a change because of the unremitting attacks on the institute, and the fact that it had reached relative maturity. Moholy Nagy and Breuer resigned. Meyer was very left leaning and brought his communist principles to the school. Meyer headed the architecture department, and, as an active communist, he incorporated his Marxist ideals through student organizations and classroom programs. He came up with more socially responsible programs. Simple and inexpensive became important more than aesthetics. More production happened. It was here that the school finally created a department of architecture, something that had been conspicuously lacking in an institution that had been based on the union of the arts. The school was divided into Architecture, advertising, wood & metal production; and textiles. Methods became more scientific; psychology and industrial organization and other elementary science courses were included in the syllabus. Building focused on optimization of plan, and precise calculations of heat loss/gain, acoustics, light, sunlight etc. Technical staff were appointed. The school continued to build in strength but criticism of Meyer's Marxism grew, and he was dismissed as director in 1930, and after local elections brought the Nazis to power in 1932, the school in Dessau was closed. In the same year, 1932, it moved to Berlin, under the new direction of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, an advocate of functionalism. He struggled with far poorer resources, and a faculty that had lost some of its brightest stars; he also tried to remove politics from the school's ethos, but when the Nazis came to power in 1933, the school