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The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

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Éva Forgács

Introduction

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IN APRIL 1919 the Bauhaus opened Its doors in Weimar, under the directorship of the architect Walter Gropius. It was the successor Institute to the Grand Ducal Saxon Art Academy and the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts, the latter having been shut down at the outbreak of the World War.

Our first statement about the Bauhaus already contains the seeds of a conflict: the former Weimar Academy of Fine Arts, with its long tradition of landscape painting, was now renamed and headed by an architect enthralled not by the past or the present but by vistas of technological progress. As early as 1910 Walter Gropius presented his proposal For the Establishment of an Architectural Guild Founded on an Aesthetically Unified Basis1 and, by focusing on economy, speed and efficiency, and keeping in view the technological possibilities, had arrived at the concept of the 'factory-made building'. This approach, which was, on top of everything, internationalist, existed worlds apart from the emphatic...

© Central European University Press, 1995

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