In principle, the Bauhaus represented an opportunity to extend beauty and quality to every home through well designed industrially produced objects. The Bauhaus program was experimental and the emphasis, was theoretical.
The Bauhaus was a response to the opulent and decorative architectural styles of the late 19th century that continued into the 1920s through Baroque, Arts and Craft, and Art Deco. These movements featured richly decorated design which were available to the rich and demanded an intense amount of individualized labour.
The Bauhaus (literally meaning Construction House) aimed to combine art and craft, free of “untruth” and ornamentation.
“The ultimate aim of all artistic activity is building! … Architects, sculptors, painters, we must all get back to craft! … The artist is a heightened manifestation of the craftsman. … Let us form … a new guild of craftsmen without the class divisions that set out to raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! … Let us together create the new building of the future which will be all in one: architecture and sculpture and painting.”
“The Bauhaus strives to bring together all creative effort into one whole, to reunify all the disciplines of practical art—sculpture, painting, handicrafts, and the crafts—as inseparable components of a new architecture. The ultimate, if distant, aim of the Bauhaus is the unified work of art—the great structure—in which there is no distinction between monumental and decorative art. The Bauhaus wants to educate architects, painters, and sculptors of all levels, according to their capabilities, to become competent craftsmen or independent creative artists and to form a working community of leading and future artist-craftsmen. These men, of kindred spirit, will know how to design building harmoniously in their entirety—structure, finishing, ornamentation, and furnishing. – Walter Gropius
Bauhaus Nesting Table
Marguerite Friedlaender-Wildenhain (design), Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur Berlin (producer), ‘Halle shape’ vase, 1930
textiles by Anni Albers
Met Life building (formerly Pan Am) situated behind Grand Central Station in NYC
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Along with Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. An innovative architect in 1920’s and 1930’s Germany, Mies was the last director of the Bauhaus, a seminal school in modern architecture. [wikipedia]
The Bauhaus was not an institution… it was an idea.- Mies van der Rohe
Toronto-Dominion Centre built in the 1960s