German Art School, 1919 - 1933
Bauhaus originated as a German art school (Staatliches Bauhaus), founded by the architect Walter Gropius and operational from 1919 to 1933. Originally located in Weimar, the school moved to Dessau and finally Berlin until pressures from the Nazi regime forced it to close. The school united the Weimar Academy of Arts and the Weimar School of Arts and Crafts. It became famous for striving to fuse art and technique and combine beauty with usefulness, with the quest of a Gesamtkunstwerk, “total work of art”, in which all the arts would be brought together. By training students equally in art and craftsmanship, the Bauhaus sought to end the schism between the two disciplines. The students opted for materials inherited from the Industrial revolution such as concrete, steel, glass and took a stance to break from the classical German style. The lines became sober, the geometrical forms radically simple, and the colour palettes primary, for a minimalist although elegant result.
The Bauhaus became an artistic movement, also known as the International Style, and was marked by this absence of ornamentation and by the harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design. The intent was to produce practical and aesthetically pleasing objects for mass society rather than individual items for a wealthy elite. Inside the school, teachers and students worked together, abolishing hierarchy and confronting generational viewpoints. The Bauhaus had a major impact all around the world in the decades following its demise as many of the artists involved fled from the Nazi regime and took with them the revolutionary concepts developed at the school. Among them: Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Josef Albers, Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten.