Exhibitions Finding Bauhaus in the Public Library: “Designing and Redesigning MLK Library” and “Virtual Bauhaus”

Finding the Bauhaus © Goethe-Institut Washington

Thu, 09/26/2019 -
Fri, 10/18/2019

Goethe-Institut Washington

1990 K St. NW (Entrance on 20th St., lower level)
Washington, DC 20006

The Bauhaus (1919-1933) was a German art school that imagined a better world and launched some of the greatest architects, designers and artists of the 20th century—including Mies van der Rohe, architect of DC’s own MLK Library. Yet the school’s social vision was eclipsed by World War II and the rise of a fascist regime. Today we see traces of Bauhaus design everywhere—but what became of its utopian ideals? Further, what new perspective does this history offer on present-day challenges of inequality and shrinking public space?

Finding the Bauhaus in the Public Library is a new public program series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the German Bauhaus school (1919-1933) and the modernization of DC's own architectural landmark, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library—designed by the last director of the Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe.


Designing and Redesigning MLK Library
Goethe-Institut Washington
September 26–October 18, 2019

The MLK Library is a local icon: the only library ever built by Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe, and his only building in the District. Learn why the Library was almost torn down, how it was saved, and the reasons for the changes to one of DC’s most debated buildings, reopening in fall 2020.

VR Experience:  Virtual Bauhaus
Goethe-Institut Washington
September 26–October 12, 2019

Virtual Bauhaus offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, transporting them into the architectural space of the iconic Bauhaus Dessau building, which was constructed in 1925–26 according to designs by the school’s first director, Walter Gropius, as it existed in the 1920s. Through this immersive environment, visitors explore the school’s central ideas through encounters with its architectural interior. In the spirit of the Bauhaus, Virtual Bauhaus uses cutting edge technology to initiate new horizons and offers the possibility for cost-effective reproduction and an interactive experience.

Virtual Bauhaus was created by the Goethe-Institut Boston in collaboration with Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln.

Presented in North America as part of Wunderbar Together: The Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19 – an initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).