What is Bauhaus?

Neues Bauhaus in Dessau
Photo (detail): Lelikron, Dessau Bauhaus neu, CC BY-SA 3.0

With the public Bauhaus school in 1919 in Weimar, one of the earliest and most important schools of art and design was founded. Almost no other movement has influenced modern art and architecture as much as Bauhaus. And yet, it was not formed through a universal aesthetic theory, but specifically through the social-democratic politics of the Weimar Republic.

Founded and directed by architect Walter Gropius, the education at the Bauhaus school aimed to connect art and craft. The goal of the school was the training of a new type of artist, who was to combine design and architecture, and create individual products suitable for mass production.

THE Bauhaus did not and does not exist. This school is by no means a specifically German phenomenon. Rather, Bauhaus and its network can be considered a culmination of various avant-garde trends. Architects, artists, crafters, academics/researchers, educators and dancers, from around the world, taught and were taught at the Bauhaus. Equally heterogeneous were their respective motives and perspectives on artistic production.

Today the Bauhaus can still be considered an interchangeable term for the modern. On its 100th birthday the Goethe-Institut along with its partners, experts and interested visitors embark upon a search for its traces and ask questions about its influence – looking for the legacy of Bauhaus in architecture, design, art, dance, film, education and music.