Art Term

Bauhaus

Bauhaus was a revolutionary school of art, architecture and design established by Walter Gropius at Weimar in Germany in 1919

Lucia Moholy, ‘Bauhaus Building, Dessau’ 1925–6
Lucia Moholy
Bauhaus Building, Dessau 1925–6
Tate
© Estate of Lucia Moholy / DACS 2017

The Bauhaus teaching method replaced the traditional pupil-teacher relationship with the idea of a community of artists working together. Its aim was to bring art back into contact with everyday life, and architecture, performing arts, design and applied arts were therefore given as much weight as fine art. The name is a combination of the German words for building (bau) and house (haus) and may have been intended to evoke the idea of a guild or fraternity working to build a new society. Teachers included Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers.

The Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925–6 where Gropius created a new building for the school. In 1932 it moved to Berlin where it was closed in 1933 by the Nazis.

Its influence was immense, especially in the USA, where many artists moved before and during the Second World War.

bauhaus photography

THE NEW BAUHAUS & BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

In 1933, after the closure of the Bauhaus by the Nazis, Josef and Anni Albers took the Bauhaus methods to Black Mountain College in North Carolina and in then 1950 to the Department of Design at Yale University in Connecticut.

László Moholy-Nagy left Europe in 1937, after an invitation to begin a new school of art and design in Chicago, first called The New Bauhaus and later renamed the Institute of Design. Aiming to train ‘the perfect designer’, perhaps the most important of the departments was the photography department under the direction of Harry Callahan. Bringing principles from the original Bauhaus, it continued to see the camera and photography as a medium distinct from others, and turned its gaze onto the growing cityscapes of America, capturing and using its architecture as a structural device.

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SELECTED ARTISTS IN THE COLLECTION

SELECTED ARTWORKS IN THE COLLECTION

Bauhaus at Tate