Virtual Exhibition Vernissage Form & Landscape: Bauhaus in New England

BH Kugel House Photo: Mark Römisch

Thu, 06/25/2020

A Conversation with photographer Mark Römisch and Peter McMahon, founding director of Cape Cod Modern House Trust


Via Zoom Webinar (please RSVP)
Many are surprised to find that New England, with its colonial building style and puritan spirit, developed into a hub of the Bauhaus diaspora. Commissioned by the Goethe-Institut Boston in 2018, Mark visualized this very special connection by means of a photographic exploration of the little-known colonies in Wellfleet, Lincoln, and Lexington. Join Mark and Peter for an informal conversation that explores the connections between Bauhaus, New England and Nature, and experience an exclusive view into these hidden Bauhaus gems.
Unfortunately the exhibition Form and Landscape: Bauhaus in New England which was scheduled to open at the Goethe-Institut Boston in April, had to postponed due to the Corona Pandemic.

This event will also be streamed live on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/goetheinstitut.boston

Cocktail Part to follow!
(No rsvp necessary - Zoom link will be shared during the Webinar)

Join us with your favorite drink for an informal virtual gathering and share your favorite Bauhaus stories. We will also use the occasion to thank the many people who generously offered their time and access to their properties to help make this project a success.


Mark Römisch, born in 1974 in Cologne, is a German photographer, actor and theater director. His photographic work reflects his fascination with visualizing abstract topics ranging from current political and human rights issues to exploring the interaction of Man and Nature. His work as an actor and theater director continuously influences the visual language in his photographic works which move between the documentary and fictuional.

Peter McMahon is the Founding Director of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, incorporated in 2007 to archive, restore and celebrate the Outer Cape’s outstanding modern architecture and the creative culture that surrounded it. He is co-author, along with Christine Cipriani, of Cape Cod Modern, Mid-Century Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape, 2014, Metropolis Books. His design practice in South Wellfleet focuses on sustainable, modern architecture and restoration of mid-20th century buildings.


Form and Landscape: Bauhaus in New England
A photographic encounter with Bauhaus colonies in Wellfleet, Lincoln and Lexington


Many are surprised to find that New England, with its colonial building style and puritan spirit, developed into a hub of the Bauhaus diaspora. Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, came to Harvard in 1937, and other Bauhäusler including Marcel Breuer, Josef Albers and Herbert Bayer, followed him to New England. Their influence among students and architects spread quickly, but New England also had an effect on their ideas imported from Germany and generated a very unique form of Bauhaus expression.
 
Although their buildings initially shocked New Englanders with their modernist flat roofs and boxy style, the Bauhäusler in fact honored New England architectural traditions by using brick, fieldstone and wood, which follow the traditional Bauhaus principles of simplicity, functionality and affordability. As a result they succeeded in demonstrating that it was possible to erect modern structures using existing, low-cost American products.
 
For the Bauhaus anniversary the Goethe-Institut Boston wanted to visualize this very special connection and mutual attraction between the Bauhaus and New England by means of a photographic exploration of the little-known colonies in Wellfleet, Lincoln and Lexington. It was not envisioned as a documentary approach, rather an artistic one, a photo essay. Mark Römisch’s camera carefully approaches from the shadows of nature, quietly penetrates the architecture, then lingers on details while only hinting at the houses. Completeness was never the goal. And yet, by these very means, Römisch captures the essence of these buildings and their inhabitants.
 

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