Introducing the international Bauhaus Artists
Many of the names that appeared at the Bauhaus academy in Weimar – as Bauhaus masters or among its 150 to 200 students – went on to become internationally acclaimed artists and architects. The following renowned representatives of the Bauhaus movement and their most important pieces of work serve as examples of the Weimar period.
The founder of the Bauhaus. "My idea isn't a small one," wrote the architect back in April 2019. "I certainly that Weimar is the most suitable location for laying the foundations for a republic of spirits, expecially given its global reputation." This statement shows, that Gropius had chosen the "Classical City" of Weimar in order to make his unique school with a brand-new approach a reality. Gropius also ran the Bauhaus in Dessau, as well as designing several housing projects in Berlin. He had already been intensively exploring the topic of mass housing construction as a solution to urban development problems since as early as 1926. Walter Gropius emigrated to England in 1934 before moving to the USA in 1937, where he worked as a professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harward University.
Henry van de Velde
Designer, architect, painter
The multi-talented Belgian artist worked as an advisor for arts and crafts designers in Weimar from 1902 to 1917. He opened his School of Arts and Crafts in the city in 1907. Van de Velde understood the line as a design element embodying power and energy, and he used this element to develop designs ranging between Art Nouveau and Avant-Garde. His works in Thuringia include the main building of what is now the Weimar Bauhaus University, the building of the former School of Arts and Crafts, his place of residence - Haus Hohe Pappeln - and Haus Schulenburg mansion in Gera. When the Belgian was forced to leave Germany during the First World War in 1917, he recommended Walter Gropius take place as Director of the School of Arts and Crafts.
He was the first master at the Weimar academy and created the famous woodcut 'Cathedral' in 1919 for the front page of the Bauhaus Manifesto. It was an allegory for the unity of arts and crafts that the Bauhaus movement was striving for. Until 1925, he was the head of the printing workshop, where key publications such as the 'Bauhaus-Mappen' (Bauhaus portfolios) were produced. His paintings of the village churches, a series of nearly 150 works, became particularly famous.
Painter, designer, photographer
László Moholy-Nagy, a hugely talented designer working with a wide range of materials, became head of the metal workshop in 1923. He had a profound influence on the development of modern products, photography, typography and stage work. As part of the preliminary course, he introduced new students to a systematic analysis of different materials and let them carry out studies on space and balance.
Painter, art theorist
Kandinsky was one of the most influential Bauhaus masters and head of the mural painting workshop from 1922 to 1925. He also held lessons on the theory of forms in the preliminary course, including an extensive module on colour theory. The allocation of the primary colours red, yellow and blue to the basic geometric shapes (square, triangle and circle) was based on a survey conducted by Kandinsky at the Bauhaus and inspired works such as the 'Cradle' by Peter Keler in 1922.
Painter, art lecturer and art writer
Itten influenced nearly all the workshops and the preliminary course, which he established as an obligatory semester of study. His highly sophisticated, nuanced curriculum included studies of nature and materials, but also classes such as gymnastics. Itten encouraged students to explore their own perceptions and pursue creative design approaches. He also promoted the religious and esoteric Mazdaznan teachings at the Bauhaus. Based on his theories he created works such as the Colour Sphere (1921).
In the carpentry workshop, Marcel Breuer designed a number of wooden furniture pieces, including the 'African Chair' (together with Gunta Stölzl) in 1921 and the 'Slatted Chair' TI1a in 1922, which was made from identical individual pieces – a design concept that he also applied later in the making of his 'Wassily Chair'. In 1923, he designed the furniture for the living room and dressing room of the concept house 'Haus Am Horn' in Weimar, including pieces such as the Lady’s Dressing Table.