The Bauhaus Movement Essay

897 words - 4 pages


Post World War I Germany set the stage for the most organized art movement in art history. The Bauhaus movement was a reaction to the social changes the Germans were facing. The country had been crushed in the war. Their economy was collapsing. Mobs of unemployed people roamed the street waiting for the country to collapse. The Germans were living in poverty and starving from the lack of supplies (Jackson). "This may seem to be an unlikely environment to support an artistic revolution. Never-the-less, for the designers of the Bauhaus, this was the beginning of a rewarding struggle" (qtd. Brodie).

In 1919 an institution called the Bauhaus was formed in Weimer. Walter Gropius was appointed as the head of the school. He had three goals that he wanted his students to achieve. Artist and craftsmen were accepted into the program in an effort to get them to work collectively to combine all of their skills. Secondly, the students were to design everyday objects as works of art. This would advance modern art into the sense of functional design. The third goal was to maintain contact with the leaders of industry so the students could be their consultants.

Ilkka Huovio stated in Bauhaus, The New Man - The New Technique that "The idealistic basis of Bauhaus was a socially orientate programme. An artist must be conscious of his social responsibility to the community. On the other hand the community has to accept the artist and support him" The movement achieved their believed responsibility to the community of Weimer, in 1924 ,with their mass housing program. There was a great shortage of housing for the working class in Weimer so the designers and architects created affordable and modern housing.

The buildings were built from tax money for the workers. Although the workers disliked the new classical form social housing that the Bauhaus had designed. (Jackson).

This set the school up for failure in the community. The Weimer community also thought the students were extremely radical in their appearance and behavior. The fact that women were aloud in the school and the classes were not segregated was a very modern step for the school. This influenced the women to wear their hair short and dress modern. They were being viewed as being too radical for Weiner. They were becoming more and more isolated from the community. (Boedie). In April 1925, the Thuringer government withdrew its economic support for the institute because of the political pressure that was rising in the community (Jackson).

The progressive industrial city of Dessau became the new home for the Bauhaus. For funds they created the Bauhaus GmbH to market their designs and products. They also held workshop for craftsmen to learn their techniques. Breaking away from the government funding and control gave full independence to the group. Gropius turned the Bauhaus leadership over to a Swiss architect named...

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