VKhUTEMAS (Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops)

Biography

Vkhutemas (Russian: Вхутемас, IPA: [fxʊtʲɪˈmas], acronym for Высшие художественно-технические мастерские Vysshiye Khudozhestvenno-Tekhnicheskiye Masterskiye "Higher Art and Technical Studios") was the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow, replacing the Moscow Svomas.

The workshops were established by a decree from Vladimir Lenin with the intentions, in the words of the Soviet government, "to prepare master artists of the highest qualifications for industry, and builders and managers for professional-technical education". The school had 100 faculty members and an enrollment of 2,500 students. Vkhutemas was formed by a merger of two previous schools: the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and the Stroganov School of Applied Arts. The workshops had artistic and industrial faculties; the art faculty taught courses in graphics, sculpture and architecture while the industrial faculty taught courses in printing, textiles, ceramics, woodworking, and metalworking. It was a center for three major movements in avant garde art and architecture: constructivism, rationalism, and suprematism. In the workshops, the faculty and students transformed attitudes to art and reality with the use of precise geometry with an emphasis on space, in one of the great revolutions in the history of art. In 1926, the school was reorganized under a new rector and its name was changed from "Studios" to "Institute" (Вхутеин, Высший художественно-технический институт, Vkhutein, Vysshiye Khudozhestvenno-Tekhnicheskii Institut), or Vkhutein. It was dissolved in 1930, following political and internal pressures throughout its ten-year existence. The school's faculty, students, and legacy were dispersed into as many as six other schools.

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