11.Bauhaus&SocialHousing

11.Bauhaus&SocialHousing - The Bauhaus and Social...

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Unformatted text preview: The Bauhaus and Social Housing Just after World War I, during the period of the Weimar Republic, Walter Gropius accepted the appointment as head of the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, succeeding Henry van de Velde. The academy was an amalgamation of two previously existing state art schools. Gropius reorganized its curriculum along very avant-garde lines pedagogically, administratively, and artistically; and he renamed it Bauhaus . This name recalls the German word Bauhtte used to designate the headquarters and the culture of medieval cathedral construction. The fundamental idea was that the Bauhaus would not teach separate disciplines only but would expect cross-fertilization between the arts and would ground that cross- fertilization in a strong sense of craft. The extremely conservative provincial government of Thuringia (whose capital was Weimar) was threatened by this idea which they unfortunately mistook for something close to communism. They withdrew funding for the school, so in 1925 Gropius moved the institution to Dessau where the local city government was eager to support new ideas. In the period of reconstruction following World War I, the return to order had a very different meaning in Germany than it did in France. In France, even the most progressive of the artistic movements had the intention of re-establishing the grand national tradition; while Germany, the defeated nation, saw the return to order in terms of a radical break from the Wilhelmine past and a search for new principles. One of those new principles that emerged around 1922 was called die neue Sachlichkeit or New Objectivity . This was a new brand of realism that was scientific, down-to-earth, socially conscious, industrially based, and rational. In taking over his role as director, Gropius envisioned the Bauhaus as leading a transformation of German artistic culture with architecture at the forefront. In the Bauhaus Manifesto , published in 1919 , Gropius wrote that artistic culture was threatened by the materialism of industrial capitalism and could only be redeemed by a spiritual revolution. The arts would be the crystal symbol of the new in the future. These words are clearly expressionist in tone; but between 1919 and 1923, the Bauhaus slowly abandoned this ideology and began to absorb the ideas of the...
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11.Bauhaus&SocialHousing - The Bauhaus and Social...

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