Impact of The Bauhaus
The Bauhaus had a major impact on art and architecture trends in
Western Europe, the United States and Israel in the decades
following its demise, as many of the artists involved fled or were
exiled by the Nazi regime.
Gropius, Breuer, and Moholy-Nagy re-assembled in England during the
mid 1930s to live and work in the Isokon project before the war
caught up to them. In the late 1930s Mies van der Rohe re-settled in
Chicago and became one of the pre-eminent architects in the world.
Moholy-Nagy also went to Chicago and founded the New Bauhaus school
under the sponsorship of industrialist and philanthropist Walter
Paepcke. Herbert Bayer, also sponsored by Paepcke, moved to Aspen,
Colorado in support of Paepcke's Aspen projects.
Both Gropius and Breuer went to teach at the Harvard Graduate School
of Design and worked together before their professional split in
1941. The Harvard School was enormously influential in the late
1940s and early 1950s, producing such students as Philip Johnson,
I.M. Pei, Lawrence Halprin and Paul Rudolph, among many others.
One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft,
and technology. The machine was considered a positive element, and
therefore industrial and product design were important components.
Vorkurs ("initial course") was taught; this is the modern day Basic
Design course that has become one of the key foundational courses
offered in architectural schools across the globe. There was no
teaching of history in the school because everything was supposed to
be designed and created according to first principles rather than by
One of the most important contributions of the Bauhaus is in the
field of furniture design. The world famous and ubiquitous
Cantilever chair by Dutch designer Mart Stam, using the tensile
properties of steel, and the Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer
are two examples.
The physical plant at Dessau survived the War and was operated as a
design school with some architectural facilities by the Communist
German Democratic Republic. This included live stage productions in
the Bauhaus theater under the name of Bauhausbühne ("Bauhaus
Stage"). After German reunification, a reorganized school continued
in the same building, with no essential continuity with the Bauhaus
under Gropius in the early 1920s.
In 1999 Bauhaus-Dessau College started to organize postgraduate
programs with participants from all over the world. This effort has
been supported by the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation which was founded in
1994 as a public institution.
American art schools have also rediscovered the Bauhaus school. The
Master Craftsman Program at Florida State University bases its
artistic philosophy on Bauhaus theory and practice.
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