The Bauhaus (trans. School of Building) was founded in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius, who was very interested in manufacturing combined with art. It was created as a centre for all arts. The Arts & Crafts movement was a big influence, as, under William Morris, it espoused the idea of functionality and beauty. After a while the medieval forms were thrown out and a more stripped down model favoured.
The school had pottery departments, furniture workshops and produced posters in the art department. After a while, metal became favoured over wood and the material for chairs and tables.
Famous artists such as Kandinsky and Paul Klee taught there, and many others aspired to join the teaching staff, such was the growing reputation. Below is a diagram of the comprehensive course offered after the move to Dessau.
There was a strong influence from Mondrian’s works, which is apparent in the building at Dessau, and the modernist architecture of the building set a style for many buildings.
In 1932 the school moved to Berlin, where, under political pressure, it was closed by its leadership in 1933.
Caroline showed us many images of the furniture produced by the school, which cannot appear here, due to copyright constraints, but for those interested, the internet has many images on Google Images under Bauhaus furniture. Some will seem familiar, as indeed they are. The influence is very strong in today’s market place with the growing taste for modernist style in the home.
The talk was very interesting, particularly as we are surrounded by furniture and design whose origins are in the Bauhaus. Ikea, although a Swedish company with the Karl & Karin Larsson historical connection, has many pieces reflective of this famous German school.