In 1919, in the immediate wake of the devastation wrought by World War I, an architect named Walter Gropius, one of the pioneering maestros of modern architecture, founded an art school that combined fine arts with crafts and eventually architecture, with a minimalist approach to design that combined all of it with contemporary technology under the maxim "form follows function". Starting in eastern Germany - first in Dessau (pictured here), then in Weimar, and finally a third school in Berlin - this school's aesthetic and philosophy had a huge impact on the arts, design (especially furniture and household objects), and architecture not just in Germany but the rest of Europe and beyond - and one whose impact is still felt a century later.

Sadly, the increasingly ascendant Nazis viewed its work as "degenerate art", and the last school was finally shut down in 1933, though acolytes then became successful in spreading Bauhaus design beyond Germany's borders (three masterful examples being Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Mies Van der Rohe). Now in 2019, the various organisations and tourism boards are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the many extant examples of Bauhaus (whose major locations are now collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and to promote a yearlong programme of events surrounding it.

Read more about the Bauhaus and its landmarks in my post Germany Celebrates a Century of Bauhaus Design.


Maria Victoria Lopez, sjo


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