views updated May 23 2018


Rock group

For the Record

An Ambitious Follow-up

Provoked the Press

Bauhaus Split Up

Selected discography


Often referred to as the godfathers of goth-rock because of their sometimes dark music and frightening stage show theatrics, Bauhaus served as an inspiration to later gothic outfits such as Christian Death, Alien Sex Fiend, and Marilyn Manson. However, confining Bauhaus to the category of goth-rock ignores the groups sense of humor, uniqueness, and desire for musical experimentation. Their music was dark rock n roll, asserted the Official Bauhaus Web Site, owing more to Elvis Presleys Heartbreak Hotel than to their imitators pompous epics which gave the Gothic genre a bad name. After the members of Bauhaus went their separate ways in 1983, they continued to find commercial and critical acclaim with acts such as Love and Rockets. And into the later 1990s, Bauhaus songs still sounded contemporary, the groups albums sold better than ever, and the bands live shows remained legendary.

Bauhaus formed in 1978 in Northampton, England; the groups founding members included bassist and vocalist David J (born David Jay Haskins), his brother Kevin Haskins, a drummer, guitarist Daniel Ash, and vocalist Peter Murphy. David J, Haskins, and later Ash all played together prior to Bauhaus under various names such as The Craze, The Submerged Tenth or Jack Plug, and The Sockettes. However, all of these relatively unknown outfits seemed to lack a certain chemistry. In an attempt to salvage the threesomes pursuits, Ash decided to call upon Murphy, an old school friend who shared the trios musical tastes, and asked him to join the band. This decision proved beneficial from the start, for within just a couple of weeks, Ash and Murphy had written an astounding number of songs, including Dark Entries, In the Night, Boys, Harry, and many more.

A month later, after David J and Haskins joined the pair to further develop lines for the collection of songs, and the four musicians officially named themselves Bauhaus 1919 after the German art movement (the suffix 1919 was later dropped in 1979 from the groups namesake). On New Years Eve, 1978, they made their first public debut in England. Soon thereafter, Bauhaus recorded in just one take a 12-inch single on the Small Wonder label that included the track Bela Lugosis Dead. The epic, nine minute-long song, released in August of 1979, would later become a Bauhaus classic and goth-rock anthem. While the song never reached the pop charts, it remained on the United Kingdom independent charts for several years. At the bands request, the 12-inch version of Bela Lugosis Dead never appeared on an album until the release of the Bauhaus compilation Crackle in 1998.

With just one single to their name, Bauhaus quickly gained attention for their live performances held in small clubs. Using videos projected onto a small screen and a single white strobe light, the band produced a startling and hypnotic show. You may not care to have the fear of God instilled in you at a gig, partially from the band, wrote Melody Maker, as quoted by the bands website, but Bauhaus proved an exhilarating exception. Audience communication is never broached, more a sense of intimidation that immediately demands you take an interestdeeply explosive drums, throbbing basses and a never ending variety of guitar sounds which never resort to conventional methods of attack.

After performing almost non-stop and just three months after releasing their first single, Bauhaus signed with the Beggars Banquets subsidiary label 4AD. In January of 1980, the group released their second single, Dark Entries. Later in the summer of the same year, after touring Europe, they released the single Terror Couple Killed Colonel, another independent chart hit. In September of 1980, Bauhaus arrived in the United States for their first American tour, releasing another single, a cover of the 1970s glam-rock group T-Rexs Telegram Sam, toward the end of the month.

Upon returning to England, Bauhaus released their debut album, the psychedelic, dark, and original In the Flat Field, in October of 1980. An immediate success,

For the Record

Members include Daniel Ash, guitar, vocals; David J (born David Jay Haskins), bass, vocals; Kevin Haskins, drums; Peter Murphy (born in Northampton, England), vocals.

Group formed in Northampton, England, developed legendary yet simple stage shows, 1978; released classic single Bela Lugosis Dead, Small Wonder, 1979; released debut album, In the Flat Field, 4AD, 1979; released Mask, Beggars and Banquet, 1980; released first U.K. Top 20 hit, Ziggy Stardust, which reached number 15 and The Skys Gone Out, Beggars Banquet, both in 1982; released Burning from the Inside, Beggars Ban-quet/A&M, 1983; reunited for worldwide tour; released compilation album Crackle, 1998.

Addresses: Record company Beggars Banquet Records, 580 Broadway, Ste. 1004, New York City, NY 10012; phone: (212) 343-7010; fax: (212) 343-7030. WebsiteThe Official Bauhaus Web Site,

although the album originally contained none of Bauhauss previous singles, the record peaked at number one on the independent charts and number 72 on the pop charts. (In the 1990s, all of the 4AD singles were remastered and included in an expanded CD of In the Flat Field.) Unlike any other band prior, Bauhaus on their debut introduced listeners to the dense, raw force that would become their own unique style.

February of 1981 took Bauhaus back to the United States for a second, 16-date tour. Also that year, Bauhaus, by now gaining a wider audience, transferred to the Beggars Banquet label. Subsequently, they released the single Kick in the Eye, which introduced a more commercial sound through its dance rhythms, soon followed by The Passion of Lovers, which Bauhaus composed and recorded in one day. Both singles made the British top 60 in 1981. Also this year, Ash formed a group outside of Bauhaus called Tones on Tale.

An Ambitious Follow-up

In October of 1981, Bauhaus released their second album entitled Mask, marking a shift in musical direction for the group. More ambitious, accessible, and mature than the groups debut effort, Mask featured other musical elements such as metal and electronic textures. However, the broader collection of songs also retained the experimental edge and the dark, foreboding core of Bauhauss earlier music. Bob Gulla in musicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide defined the work as Bauhauss finest, showing a variety of styles and extremes in both musicianship and verse. Likewise, the album succeeded in terms of commercial appeal as well, reaching number 30 on the British charts.

Despite the groups intense touring schedule that led them across Europe and abroad, a significant breakthrough record continued to elude Bauhaus. Nonetheless, the band headed back to the studio to record the EP Searching for Satori (released in March of 1982), which also included a remix of Kick in the Eye and reached number 45 on the British charts. The next single, Spirit, appeared later that summer, making the British top 50. For this song, Bauhaus used an outside producer for the first and last time. Unhappy with the arrangement and final outcome of Spirit, the group recorded a longer, more complete version that showed up on their next album.

In the meantime, Bauhaus experienced a bit of mainstream recognition when Murphy took on an acting job and starred in a series of television commercials advertising Maxell tapes. Filmed by a renowned director named Howard Guard (who later made the video for a Bauhaus song entitled Shes in Parties), the trend-setting commercials drew acclaim from the advertising industry. Moreover, the popularity of the ads resulted in Bauhaus receiving a cameo appearance in the film The Hunger. In the movie, a vampire myth set in New York City starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve, the group performed Bela Lugosis Dead in a club frequented by the films leading characters.

Provoked the Press

In the fall of 1982, Bauhaus made a connection of sorts with Bowie again by releasing a cover of the musicians song Ziggy Stardust, followed by a version of pop/electronic innovator Brian Enos Third Uncle. Throughout the groups career, and especially since their recording of Telegram Sam, some members of the English press accused Bauhaus of sounding similar to Bowie or mimicking the glam-rock style with their elaborate stage shows. Fully realizing that a remake of a Bowie song would invite an abundance of media protest, Bauhaus decided to provoke the press even more by adding Third Uncle to the release of Ziggy Stardust. Forthe 12-inch version, the group further included a live cover of the Velvet Undergrounds Waiting for the Man, featuring the vocals of former Velvet Underground member Nico. And while the project began out of Bauhauss sense of humor, the popular single finally earned the group their first United Kingdom Top 20 hit as Ziggy Stardust ascended to number 15.

Propelled by the pop chart success of the single, The Skys GoneOut, Bauhauss next album also released in 1982, entered the album charts at number four. To show their gratitude to record buyers, the group included free with the first 30,000 copies a live album consisting of live performances from late 1981 and early 1982. The free album was released later that year independently as Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape. Although The Skys Gone Out gave the group their greatest mainstream recognition, the album nonetheless lacked the lyrical humor of Bauhauss earlier work.

In early 1983, with the band already booked for studio time to work on their next album, Murphy contracted viral pneumonia. The other members of Bauhaus, though, opted to start recording without the lead singer, whose serious illness prevented him from participating. By the time he recovered, the bulk of the record was completed, leaving Murphy the opportunity to reinterpret the vocals for only four songs. Consequently, 1983s Burning from the Inside consisted of greater contributions from Ash and David J, who sang on most of the albums tracks and added a more acoustic sound to the music. Despite the fact that all the members of Bauhaus did not contribute equally to writing and recording Burning from the Inside, the albu m proved yet another critical and popular achievement, climbing to number ten on the pop charts, and spurred the successful single Shes in Parties. However, the diverse album also prompted the breakup that would come in July of 1983, as the members of Bauhaus displayed an obvious interest in pursuing other musical avenues.

Bauhaus Split Up

Bauhaus promoted the album with a tour of Japan, returning to the British for a tour of England from June 11 until July 5. During Bauhauss last performance held at Hammersmith Palais in England, Ash exited the stage with the words Rest in peace, as quoted by the groups website. (A recording of the live show entitled Rest in Peace: The Final Concert was later released in 1992.) Shortly thereafter, a press release confirmed rumors that Bauhaus had broken up. Feeling that fan club members who had already paid their annual subscription deserved compensation, Bauhaus sent out 325 copies of a single the band had decided not to release on an album called The Sanity Assassin. The song was later made available to the general public as a track on Crackle.

After Bauhaus split apart, all of the groups members went on to enjoy commercially successful careers. Murphy first formed a band called Dalis Car with Mick Karn (formerly of the group Japan) and then released a string of solo projects. His more noteworthy albums included Deep(1990) and Cascaded (1995). Ash continued playing with Tones on Tail, joined by Haskins after Bauhauss breakup, and David J released some solo records in addition to joining the group the Jazz Butcher for a short time. In 1985, Ash, David J, and Haskins reunited as Love and Rockets after a proposed Bauhaus reunion fell through. Love and Rockets, embracing the diversity and creativity evident on Burning from the Inside, earned both critical acclaim and commercial acceptance throughout the remainder of the 1980s and into the 1990s.

In 1998, with Love and Rockets and Murphy at a recording standstill, Bauhaus reformed for several live shows in Los Angeles, followed by a series of summer concerts across the United States and a fall tour in Europe. In celebration of the reunion, the band released the best of album Crackle on the Beggars Banquet label. Duringtheir visittoChicago while ontour, Bauhaus booked some studio time and even began work on a new song, leading to rumors that a new release was in the making. Although 15 years had passed since the Bauhaus breakup, the groups reunion and tour of sold-out performances established the notion that the legacy and influences of Bauhaus remained as strong as ever.

Selected discography

as Bauhaus

Bela Lugosis Dead, (12-inch single), Small Wonder, 1979.

In the Flat Field, 4AD, 1980.

Mask, Beggars Banquet, 1981, reissued, 1995.

Lagartija Nick, (EP), Beggars Banquet, 1982.

Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, Beggars Banquet, 1982.

Searching for Satori, (EP; includes Kick in the Eye), Beggars Banquet, 1982.

The Skys Gone Out, Beggars Banquet/A&M, 1982.

Ziggy Stardust, (EP), Beggars Banquet, 1982.

4AD, (EP), 4AD, 1983.

Burning from the Inside, Beggars Banquet/A&M, 1983, reissued, 1989.

The Singles 19811983, Beggars Banquet, 1983.

19791983, Beggars Banquet, 1985.

19791983, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Beggars Banquet, 1986.

Swing the Heartache: The BBC Sessions, BBC/Beggars Banquet, 1989.

Rest in Peace: The Final Concert, Nemo/Beggars Banquet, 1992.

Crackle, Beggars Banquet, 1998.

as Love and Rockets

Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, UK Beggars Banquet, 1985, reissued, Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1988.

Express, Beggars Banquet/Big Time, 1986.

Earth, Sun, Moon, Beggars Banquet/Big Time, 1987.

Love and Rockets, Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1989.

Hot Trip to Heaven, American, 1994.

This Heaven, (EP), UK Beggars Banquet, 1995.

Body and Soul, (EP), American, 1995.

The Glittering Darkness, (EP), UK Beggars Banquet, 1996.

Sweet F.A., American, 1996.

Peter Murphy solo

Should the World Fall Apart, UK Beggars Banquet, 1986, reissued, Beggars Banquet, 1996.

Love Hysteria, Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1988, reissued, Beggars Banquet/Atlantic, 1995.

Deep, Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1990, reissued, Beggars Banquet/Atlantic, 1995.

Holy Smoke, Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1992, reissued, Beggars Banquet/Atlantic, 1995.

Youre So Close, (EP), Beggars Banquet/RCA, 1992.

The Scarlet Thing in You, (EP), Beggars Banquet/Atlantic, 1995.

Cascade, Beggars Banquet/Atlantic, 1995.



Graff, Gary and Daniel Durchholz, editors, musicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press, 1999.

Robbins, Ira A., editor, Trouser Press Guide to 90s Rock, Fireside/Simon and Schuster, 1997.


Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 11, 1998, p. P04.

Dallas Morning News, September 24, 1998, p. 43A.

Toronto Star, September 4, 1998.


All Music Guide website,, (September 26, 1999).

The Official Bauhaus website,, (September 26, 1999).,, (September 26, 1999).

Laura Hightower


views updated Jun 11 2018



The Bauhaus is widely regarded as the single most influential school of art, architecture, and design in the twentieth century. Founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919 by the Thuringian state, the school, led by the architect Walter Gropius, featured an all-star faculty that included such luminaries as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, László Moholy-Nagy, Lyonel Feininger, and many others. Gropius, an ambitious school director whom the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde had recommended as his successor upon van de Velde's dismissal in 1915, successfully combined the Weimar Academy of Art and what remained of van de Velde's Weimar School of Applied Arts into a single institution after World War I. Under his leadership, the school quickly broadened its mission to promote a radical fusion of the fine arts, the decorative arts, architecture, and industrial design. The Bauhaus's innovative introductory course, developed initially by Johannes Itten, together with the school's production of numerous formally innovative industrial prototypes, left many aspects of pre–World War I applied-arts teaching far behind. Rising to become the standard bearer of a reformed, modern artistic culture, the Bauhaus, Gropius proclaimed, would lead postwar German society in a process of artistic, social, and cultural renewal.

From its beginning in 1919, however, the school struggled against right-wing political forces that denounced the Bauhaus and its forward-looking, experimental artistic and cultural pedagogy as a menace to traditional German culture. Constantly embattled, underfunded, and forced to leave the cities of Weimar, Dessau, and later Berlin, the school functioned as a kind of crucible for Germany's avant-garde. The Bauhaus drew strength from its affiliations and its affinities to such peer European movements as Russian constructivism, Dada, surrealism, and the Dutch De Stijl movement—precisely the international influences that conservative nationalists, and later Hitler's National Socialists, saw as such a threat to native German traditions. Aided in part by exhibitions and publicity received after the emigration of Gropius, Moholy-Nagy, Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to the United States, the Bauhaus's reputation achieved mythical status, towering over all other modern German schools of design. The dizzying number of historical reinterpretations of the Bauhaus that have accumulated since its dissolution in 1933 have, in fact, functioned as a veritable index of Western cultural trends and preoccupations ever since.


The Thuringian state initially founded the State Bauhaus in Weimar (Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar) in 1919 for the purpose of reviving the crafts. As the thirty-five-year-old Gropius wrote when he sought budget approval from Thurinigian authorities in 1919, the Bauhaus would promote "a proliferation of the crafts and industry in the state of Weimar as a result of the re-molding of the schools in accordance with a craft-oriented, practical approach" (Wingler, p. 26). This agenda quickly expanded as, in response to the left-wing political ferment that followed World War I, Gropius assembled a broad-based, experimental faculty of artists and designers to facilitate Germany's postwar cultural renewal. Political attacks and controversy soon led Gropius to promote an official school policy of "nonalignment" in political matters. This in no way dampened the experimental nature of the school's broad-based curriculum, however. In addition to a bracing, six-month introductory course (Vorkurs) designed to unburden students of historicist thinking and unleash their individual creative potential, the school established practical instructional workshops in woodworking, ceramics, book binding, weaving, metalworking, and sculpture. Leading artists further taught courses in painting, art theory, typography, and set design, and the school collectively explored a variety of performance-based media, including music and experimental theater. Architecture, considered by Gropius to be the "mother of all the arts," after John Ruskin's dictum of half a century earlier, did not become an official Bauhaus department until the school relocated with new energy and funding in Dessau in 1926.

Rather than representing any particular philosophy or defined approach to design, the Bauhaus was, as the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously characterized it, always "an idea." That is, the school was always the collective product of its faculty, students, and three successive directors, whose experimental inclinations were highlighted by contributions from particular, highly individualistic, and influential instructors. Thus Gropius, the director from 1919 to 1928, presided over the Bauhaus's initial crafts and expressionist phases, which lasted into the early 1920s. By 1923, Gropius felt compelled to dismiss the innovative Swiss painter Johannes Itten, a charismatic instructor and follower of Mazdaznan religious traditions, in order to consolidate his leadership of the school and reconnect its curriculum to resurgent German industry and the product design fields. For this new phase, Gropius adopted a fresh school slogan, "Art and Technology: A New Unity," which became the title of an influential Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar in 1923.


Defeated and driven out of Weimar by victorious right-wing nationalist parties in the Thuringian state legislature in early 1925, the Bauhaus found a generous new patron in Fritz Hesse, mayor of Dessau, a town located roughly halfway between Weimar and Berlin. Funding organized by Hesse's administration enabled Gropius to complete an iconic, self-consciously modern industrial school building based on his own designs in 1926. The Dessau Bauhaus's asymmetrical plan and separate wings, containing glass curtain-walled workshops, a dormitory tower, and classrooms—all linked by a dramatic "bridge" that housed the school administration—acted as a visible manifesto of the Bauhaus outlook. In addition, Hesse's patronage made possible the construction of individual "masters' houses" that Gropius designed for himself and senior Bauhaus faculty. Although the school's operating budget was still tight, a newly founded architecture department thrived with such commissions as the experimental Törten housing estate, which used Gropius's methods for serial production of more than three hundred housing units constructed of standardized parts. At the same time, a growing number of Bauhaus posters and specially designed publications helped establish the school as a popular center for the German and European avant-garde. Faculty such as Moholy-Nagy and later Albers took the Bauhaus introductory course in new directions, and other courses explored new technologies and utopian design schemes as ways of pushing students to think beyond the range of customary product design and interior design.

By 1928 resurgent local political opposition and a desire to devote more time to his architectural practice prompted Gropius to hand over directorship of the Dessau Bauhaus to the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer. Meyer, an avowed socialist from the Swiss collectivist-constructivist school, emphasized utilitarian, affordable designs of everyday products using industrial materials and scientific design methods. Sacrificing art in favor of technical excellence, individual will in favor of collective purpose, and the luxury product in favor of the useful commodity, Meyer shocked the painters Klee, Kandinsky, and Feininger. Meyer's reorientation of the school toward a "radical functionalism" further prompted the resignations of Moholy-Nagy and Herbert Bayer. Nevertheless, the school's new cult of scientific reason, socialism, and sober pragmatism enabled Meyer to enlarge the school's connections to German industrial producers, who cooperated in the production of iconic Bauhaus prototypes for light fittings, wallpaper, glassware, and other successful products. Older handcrafts workshops were replaced by new departments of photography and interior design, whose workshops were characterized as laboratories rather than studios.

Meyer's radicalism fired local opposition in Dessau, which led to his resignation in 1930. He was succeeded by Mies van der Rohe. When local Dessau municipal politics led to the closure of the Bauhaus in 1932, Mies van der Rohe moved the school to Berlin. Greatly reduced in size and scope, the curriculum emphasized architecture as a systematic and rigorous practice in accordance with Mies van der Rohe's philosophy. Typical student assignments included spending months perfecting designs for a simple single-family home that was extremely carefully planned in terms of materials, space, and structure. In 1933, Nazi pressures led Mies van der Rohe and his faculty to close the Berlin-based school, but the Bauhaus idea was carried elsewhere. The appointments of Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Breuer, Albers, and Moholy-Nagy to leading positions at Harvard University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and other schools in the United States in the late 1930s ensured that various permutations of Bauhaus thinking and methodology would alter the way many Americans and American businesses would come to think about design and modern life. In Germany, the Swiss Bauhaus graduate Max Bill would found and direct the Hochschule für Gestaltung (school of design) in the south German city of Ulm beginning in 1955. The Ulm school operated as Germany's leading post–World War II Bauhaus successor institution until its closure in 1968. Only during the 1960s, when architects such as Robert Venturi and Philip Johnson rebelled against a somewhat caricatured image of Bauhaus dogmatism and perceived modernist universalism, did the Bauhaus's reputation significantly wane. Nevertheless, the school's impact on the design world and the progressive, experimental spirit of much of contemporary architecture and design education continues to be felt.

See alsoArchitecture; Constructivism; Dada; Gropius, Walter; Kandinsky, Wassily; Klee, Paul; Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig; Moholy-Nagy, László.


Betts, Paul. "The Bauhaus as Cold-War Legend: West German Modernism Revisited." German Politics and Society 14 (summer 1996): 75–100.

Fiedler, Jeannine, and Peter Feierabend, eds. Bauhaus. Cologne, 2000.

Franciscono, Marcel. Walter Gropius and the Creation of the Bauhaus in Weimar: The Ideals and Artistic Theories of Its Founding Years. Urbana, Ill., 1971.

Kentgens-Craig, Margret. The Bauhaus and America: First Contacts, 1919–1936. Cambridge, Mass., 1999.

Maciuika, John V. Before the Bauhaus: Architecture, Politics, and the German State, 1890–1920. Cambridge and New York, 2005.

Naylor, Gillian. The Bauhaus Reassessed: Sources and Design Theory. New York, 1985.

Wahl, Volker, and Ute Ackermann, eds. Die Meisterratsprotokolle des Staatlichen Bauhauses Weimar, 1919 bis 1925. Weimar, Germany, 2001.

Wick, Rainer K. Teaching at the Bauhaus. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2000.

Wingler, Hans Maria. The Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago. Translated by W. Jabs and Basil Gilbert. Cambridge, Mass., 1969.

John V. Maciuika


views updated May 11 2018

Bauhaus. German school of design (literally Building House), the ideals of which dominated C20 architecture after the 1914–18 war. Contrary to widespread belief, it had no Department of Architecture until 1927. In 1919 the Grossherzogliche Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule (Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts) and the Grossherzogliche Sächsische Hochschule für Bildende Kunst (Grand-Ducal Saxon High School for Fine Art), two important art-schools founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Ernst (1873–1923) Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar (reigned 1901–18), expressly to promote the ideals of the Arts-and-Crafts movement, were merged to become the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar (State Building House, Weimar). Walter Gropius had been proposed by Henry van de Velde to succeed him as Director in 1915, but Gropius was serving in the army, and was unable to take up the post until 1919. Under his leadership the School rapidly moved away from its Arts-and-Crafts ideals, although Gropius claimed his innovatory policies were derived from notions promoted by the Deutscher Werkbund.

The Bauhaus became a centre for Modernist theorizing, especially from 1922, when van Doesburg was there, propagating Constructivist and De Stijl ideas. Thereafter, self-dramatization was the forte of the institution, for although the Bauhaus claimed to be inspired by the notions of unifying art and technology, it did nothing of the sort: its protagonists accelerated the sundering of ‘design’ from craftsmanship, and, with an emphasis on ‘industrial design’, abandoned any pretence that hand-crafts had a part to play in the Bauhaus-envisaged future. As a State-subsidized but overtly Left-wing institution, it began (unsurprisingly) to be perceived as a threat to local private craft-workshops, and in 1925 opposition grew so intense it was disbanded, and its functions taken over by the Hochschule für Handwerk und Baukunst (High School for Handicrafts and Architecture), directed by Otto Bartning, who was more sympathetic to Arts-and-Crafts ideals. It should be emphasized that it was not Nazis (who were relatively unimportant then) who objected to the scandalously mismanaged and pretentious Bauhaus, but traditional craftsmen and designers.

After Weimar had proved hostile, the industrial town of Dessau became host to the Bauhaus, and a new building, designed by Gropius, was erected there (1925–6), which became a paradigm of the International Modern style: the complex included three wings, a large glass-fronted workshop-block, and residences for the ‘Masters’, or professors, at the institution. The Bauhaus became the State School of Art of Anhalt, and in 1927 a department of architecture was established under the direction of Hannes Meyer, who promoted a Collectivist and Socialist agenda, especially after he succeeded Gropius as Director of the Bauhaus in 1928. Meyer's insistence (backed by Ludwig Hilbersheimer, who taught architecture) that building was not an aesthetic process, and that everything depended on the marriage between function and economy, led to dissent. Eventually the Bürgermeister (Mayor) of Dessau was obliged to remove Meyer from his post in 1930. Meyer's successor was Mies van der Rohe, who demanded rigorous standards of quality as well as a ferocious work-ethic concentrated on building and development: this régime alienated the Leftists, and the ructions which followed led to the closure of the Bauhaus, partly as a consequence of the by then increasing influence of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Under Mies van der Rohe (who attempted a rapprochement with the Nazis) it moved to Berlin-Steglitz in 1932, but finally closed in 1933.

Later, emigration of Bauhaus members led to the spread of its anti-crafts and anti-Historicist ideals throughout the world: in the USA its message was promoted at Harvard by Gropius and Breuer, at Chicago by Moholy-Nagy, and at the Armour Institute, Chicago (now Institute of Technology), by Mies van der Rohe and others. The Bauhaus was promoted as an ideal by Giedion and by Pevsner who saw it as the Modernist educational academy par excellence. At the Ulm Hochschule für Gestaltung (Ulm High School for Construction), founded in 1950, Bill revived the Bauhaus programme.


Argan (1975);
H. Bayer (1938, 1968);
Wi. Curtis (1996);
Droste (1998);
Engelmann & and Schädlich (1991);
Fiedler et al. (eds.) (2000);
Forgács (1995);
Gropius (1965);
Herdeg (1985);
Jervis (1984);
Kentgens-Craig (1998, 1999);
Lupton & J. Miller (eds.) (1993);
A. Meyer (1925);
U. Meyer et al . (2001);
G. Naylor (1985);
E. Neumann (ed.) (1993);
Wingler (1969);
Wolfe (1993)


views updated May 23 2018

Bauhaus German school for architecture and the applied arts, which played an important role in developing links between design and industry. Founded by Walter Gropius in 1919, it aimed to combine great craftsmanship with an ideal of an all-embracing modern art. Though Bauhaus specialized in architecture and design, several progressive painters, including Kandinsky and Klee, taught there. The studios focused on designing products for manufacturing industry, especially furniture, textiles and electric light fittings. Typical Bauhaus design was severe and impersonal. In 1928 Hannes Meyer succeeded Gropius as director. Mies van der Rohe took Meyer's place in 1930 but in 1933, after it moved to Berlin, the Nazis closed the school. Many students and staff emigrated, taking Bauhaus style and ethos with them. Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian designer who taught at the Bauhaus in the 1920s, founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937. This later became the Institute of Design. See also Breuer


views updated May 11 2018

Bauhaus a school of applied arts established by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 and noted for its refined functionalist approach to architecture and industrial design. The socialist principles on which Bauhaus ideas rested incurred the hostility of the Nazis and, after moving to Berlin in 1932, the school was closed in 1933.