Thursday, October 1, 2015


BAUHAUS   ---   notes from my class  Oct. -- Nov.  2015


Gesamtkunstwerk    (total work of art)

1. Characterized by cosmopolitan feeling:  free, worldly, sophisticated, well traveled

2.  Avant Garde:  forward thinking, fringe

3.  Bohemian:  "fringe," cigarette smoking and coffee drinking, sexy, edgy

Gropius:  1911, he gets his first commission, in his 20's.  Had an affair with Mahler's wife.  They had an affair in New York while she was nursing Mahler.

MUSIC:   SCHOENBERG -- not a master or student at Bauhaus but his influence was signifcant.  His expressionist paintings are shown beside work by Kandinsky's.

He was also a painter.  Contemporary of Kandinsky.  Kandinsky was also musical.

Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972) taught music at Black Mountain College 1952-1956.

GRAPHIC ARTS:   Herbert Bayer

Gunta Stoltlz   (weaver)     influenced by Kandinsky

Gertrude Arndt   (photographer)

New Designs for the Bauhaus, sure Gropius would not have appreciated it.


Bent chair (Viennese)


Abstractionism -- the return of basic forms and primary colors to remove societal symbolism and realism while reiterating formational inherent emotions.

Kandinsky -- major painter (children's book:  "Sky Blue")

MIES VAN DER ROHE  (this moves me)
Considered one of the pioneers of modern architecture, along with le Corbusier and Gropius.  Called his architecture "skin and bones".   Coined the terms "less is more" and "God is in the details."  Light and space were characteristics of his architecture.

He designed a cantilever chair.

Immigrated to U.S. in 1937.  Designed the          University in Chicago.

The Barcelona Pavilion was built for an exhibition.  Torn down and re-built in 1983.

He designed  the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he taught.  Phillip Johnson was one of his students.

The Farnsworth House was built for his lover.

For more information:

In his teaching, he was known for his criticism, telling students to just "start over."  (Bad teaching).  He himself criticized his teaching.

In 1952, there was a lot of catching up to do because of the war.  A major trend was the rise of suburbia, the baby boom.

"Art and architecture have power."  My favorite:  Rembrandt as a young man -- this was at the Rembrandt exhibit at the NC Museum.  The local government for the Bauhaus forbid the use of upper and lower case letters.

Rosenburg, Minister of Culture for Hitler, was ordered to close the Bauhaus.  In actuality, the Masters closed it.

Mies designed Nazi symbols for the Cultural Exhibit.  Lily put his affairs in order; she was sent to work in a labor camp.

The Green Bridge -- Ferdinand Muller -- at NC Museum of Art

Emil Nolde -- 1,000 of his paintings were taken down; some were burned, some were sold.

Lawn Road Flats:  built in furniture

Skandiam   see Prichards Archives

see the chaise lounge :  "built to relax every part of your body"

Penguin Donkey:  very cool bookcase

1937 - Gropius offered head of Harvard's design school.  His house was built near Walden Pond, in Lincoln, MA, it is referred to as the "Gropius House" and was willed to the Commonwealth of MA by Mrs. Gropius.  It's about ____ miles from Boston.

He was involved in building of a campus in Baghdad, toward the end of his life.

Note the house that he built for the Franks.  12,000.  Curved glass.  In Massachusetts.  Dance floor on the roof.  Near Lincoln, MA.

He also built a resteurant and hotel in Argentina.

St. John's Abbey in Minnesota where he design the chapel and glass.

1958 UNESCO building in Paris.


Van der Rohe built his house.   The McCormick house was one of only 3 houses that van rohe built in the U.S.    It was thought of as being flexible; had cleats so that a wall could be opened.  The house was moved by the Elmhurst Museum.....Eleanor King Hookham was the director ....  the house then incorporated the museum.


Never more than 50 students at a time.  1200 students went through there.  The Oxford Method was used there.  The emphasis was on oral presentation.

Albers was known as being authoritative.  Rachenberg had him as a teacher.


****  Look up Erlich and concentration camp design   (Franz Erlich)

NCMODERNIST.ORG    fabulous website on houses designed by famous architects in NC.
NOTE:  see Master's Gallery on this site

Otti Berger -- wonderful weaver and rug designer, influenced by Klee's paintings,

good book:  The Bauhaus Group:  Six Masters of Modernism


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