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The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

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Éva Forgács

Chapter 7. Time

Texte intégral

  • 1 Feininger, in Ness (ed.), op. cit., Letter. 8 July 1919; p. 1 là.

1'THE development of art is a thing of slow growth. It requires time and plenty of it. It cannot be forced. What would have become of me with insufficient time to struggle through my problems? … I found Gropius open to discussion. Only he wants to see quick results. For him, "It takes too long. It takes too long.'"1 Lyonel Feininger, in this letter from the summer of 1919, touched on a key motif. Gropius was forced into a race against time, as he well knew he would be, even before the founding of the Bauhaus: when an institution is run by outside money, the investors want returns in the shortest possible time. When in the summer of 1919 he recommended that 'for the time being we shall refrain from public exhibitions … so that, in these turbulent times, we can collect our thoughts', he was fully aware that this would be very difficult; there would not be enough time for what was most needed, the organic development of inner life and the creative process.

2One facet of the conflict between Itten and Gropius was the disparity between their attitudes towards time as a factor in politics. Itten could afford to stay aloof, and, aside from Mazdaznan, devote all of his attention to teaching work - all the more so since it was Gropius's official duty to deal with the provincial government and other authorities, and to attempt to bring the spontaneous inner development of the Bauhaus on a common denominator with the tolerance level of Weimar public opinion.

  • 2 Minutes of the 7 February 1921 meeting of the Bauhaus Masters' Council. Bauhaus Archiv. Berlin, un (...)
  • 3 'Umlauf an den Meisterrat'. 15March 1921; in Hüter, op. cit., p. 227.

3In early 1921 the balance of power at the Bauhaus, in both personal and artistic respects, tipped so much in favour of Itten, that Gropius felt a need to assert himself. The hiring of Oskar Schlemmer and Paul Klee provided an occasion to moderate Itten's influence. At the 7 February 1921 meeting of the Masters' Council Gropius announced that 'it was impracticable that Itten and Muche should have to fulfil the form-master duties of every workshop. He felt it was likely that in the future every master should conduct one or two workshops. Itten objected that this way the continuity with the course of formal studies would be broken, since the other masters had no contact with that' (i.e., the Preliminary Course).2 On 15 March the workshops were redistributed. Accordingly, the stone-carving workshop was now headed by Schlemmer, the wood sculpture shop by Muche, the cabinet-making shop went to Gropius, the printing workshop to Feininger, and bookbinding to Klee (who had been contracted to teach a course in 'form studies'); Muche remained the form instructor for weaving, and Itten retained the artistic direction of the metal workshop and wall- and glass-painting shops. However, Gropius urged closer contacts between the workshops for the sake of a spirit of cooperation at the school, and therefore requested the masters to give a series of lectures to acquaint the others with the work of their respective shops. 'Since Mr Itten has the richest store of experience among us in this respect, he will begin the series of lectures,' Gropius declared.3 The problem, however, was not so much the attunement of the artistic-formal aspects of the various workshops, but the discrepancies between the theoretical formal studies - the Preliminary Course - and the practical workshop activities. After the completion of the Preliminary Course the students entered one of the workshops - the one found most suitable for the unfolding of their abilities on the basis of the assignments chosen and analysed with such sensitivity and empathy according to Itten's art-pedagogical methodology. Once in the workshop, however, suddenly there was no more of the fine-honed attention to the smallest details of their inner vibrations and Impulses: they were now expected to master certain tricks of the trade, they had to learn a handicraft. Notwithstanding the dual leadership of workshops, there was no return to the highly charged psychic energies of the Preliminary Course; the goal was no longer self-realization, but the realization of an object. And no amount of such activity could supplant the everyday contact with Itten's magnetic personality and readily proffered philosophy of life.

  • 4 Schlemmer. Letter to Tut, Weimar. 3 March 1921; in T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 103.

4The balance between the Preliminary Course and the Bauhaus workshops was upset. Or, to put it more precisely, in spite of its small extent relative to the whole, the Preliminary Course, through Itten, had come to carry such surplus weight that it was impossible to give it all the room it demanded - having overgrown its own framework. Uncertainty and tension reigned among the students; more and more of them left the Bauhaus for walking tours of Italy. Oskar Schlemmer wrote in a letter to his wife on 3 March 1921: 'In strict confidence now: things look bad for the Bauhausl Six more students want to leave for Italy.'4

'PEOPLE CRITICIZE THE CAUSE THEY ESPOUSE' THE VAN DOESBURG EPISODE

  • 5 See this chapter, note 2.

5There was another circumstance that further complicated the tensions at the Bauhaus in 1921-2. One of the founding members of the Dutch De Stijl movement, the editor of its periodical and in fact its most active proponent. Theo van Doesburg (originally C.E.M. Küpper, also writing under the pseudonyms I.K. Bonset and Aldo Camini), had arrived at Weimar. The programme of De Stijl In part almost coincided with that of the Bauhaus - as far as it concerned reshaping the human environment and following collective goals - and in part opposed it, insofar as De Stijl, as the name itself indicates, meant the creation of a style: a uniform, universally valid, new style that would foreshadow the universal harmony the movement's members hoped to advance by their works. In 1920, van Doesburg, the group's internationally most mobile member, made a grand tour of Europe with the purpose of spreading the teachings of De Stijl. Doesburg himself was an architect, and his many personal contacts were primarily with architects: this is how in 1920 he first met, through Bruno Taut in Berlin, Walter Gropius and the draughtsmen at his office, Adolf Meyer and Alfr6d Forbát. At the 7 February 1921 meeting of the Masters' Council the minutes record the reading of two letters from Doesburg requesting approval for an article he intended to write about the Bauhaus. 'However, since Doesburg's Intentions were not favourably received, Mr Gropius undertook the task of writing a letter refusing the request.'5 This was the first sign of friction between the Bauhaus and van Doesburg.

  • 6 Tom Wolfe. The Painted Word. Bantam Books. New York. 1976; 'The Apache Dance', pp. 13-22.

6As background to the rapidly developing animosity between Theo van Doesburg and the Bauhaus we must note that the De Stijl movement and the Bauhaus were entities of very different specific gravity. De Stijl never became an organized group, but was a loosely affiliated banding together of like-minded avant-garde artists and intellectuals, among whom only the painters observed closely the theosophical teachings about harmony that assigned a special role to right angles enclosed by straight horizontal and vertical lines, and to primary colours. Besides this doctrine, which rigidified into a dogma, the movement had little else in common. The periodical De Stijl was published by van Doesburg at his own expense, and one reason he needed international contacts was the relative indifference shown by the Dutch middle class towards the movement. In the hurly-burly of the European art scene more than one avant-garde art periodical was born, only to flourish briefly and pass away, reflecting the fortunes of the art movements grouped around them. However, aside from VKhUTEMAS In far-off Moscow, the Bauhaus was the only state-funded modernist art institute in all of Europe. Regardless of the struggles It cost to assure the Bauhaus of its share in the Thuringian state budget, the school still towered as a rock-solid bastion over the frail and unfunded avant-garde groups. It was able to purchase materials and supplies, could afford to pay salaries to its faculty (all of them respected leading avant-garde artists!), was qualified to issue diplomas, possessed the status of a legal entity - and occupied that privileged position in the progressive, opposition wing of the official, professional establishment which, if we are to believe Tom Wolfe's reasoning,6 is the dream of most avant-garde artists. De Stijl, or any other group of artists, could not even dream of receiving such institutional support.

  • 7 Joost Baljeu, Theo von Doesburg. Studio Vista, London, 1974; quotes van Doesburg's article in the (...)
  • 8 Gropius, Letter to Bruni Zevl, quoted in Baljeu, op. cit., p. 43.
  • 9 Lothar Schreyer, 'Erinnerungen an Sturm und Bauhaus', Albert Langen/Georg Müller Vertag, Munich, 1 (...)

7How and why van Doesburg found himself in Weimar is difficult to establish on the basis of conflicting memoirs. He himself stated in the 1927 jubilee issue of De Stijl that Gropius at their first meeting had invited him for a visit, and later, during his visit in 1921, invited him to work at the Bauhaus.7 As opposed to this, Gropius in several letters claims that he had never invited Doesburg to the Bauhaus. 'He came of his own accord, because he was Interested in our courses. He had hopes of receiving a teaching appointment at the Bauhaus, but I did not give him a job, for I found him to be aggressive and a fanatic who held narrow-minded, doctrinaire views, without the ability to brook criticism.'8 As Lothar Schreyer recalls it, at the time that van Doesburg showed up, there happened to be an unfilled position at the Bauhaus to which they had intended to invite a Constructivist artist. Doesburg would have been the logical choice, since he had spent so much time in Weimar and was in personal contact with Gropius, but his name did not come up among the nominees.9

  • 10 Herzogenrath, 'Theo van Doesburg In Weimar, 1920-1922' in bauhaus Utopien, op. cit., p. 61.

8Thus van Doesburg, who may actually have had hopes of a Bauhaus teaching position, moved to Weimar. Adolf Meyer found a studio for him, and one of the Bauhaus students, Karl-Peter Röhl, offered the use of his own studio for van Doesburg's lectures. Van Doesburg informed Meyer of his impending move: 'Soon I intend to travel to Weimar, and work there for a while. I believe this way I can contribute to the realization of a monumental collective style. This has been the aim of our group, to which the efforts of the Bauhaus are in such close proximity. Perhaps in Weimar we shall succeed in creating a new centre of gravity to oppose the individualism of Paris.'10

  • 11 Stefan von Wiese. '"Lasst alle Hoffnung fahren!" Bauhaus und de Stijl im Widerstreit'; in Katalog (...)

9For a while, Doesburg had hoped that he could participate in the Bauhaus's work - although he had in mind a Bauhaus according to his own theories. Meanwhile he set up a counter-course of his own in Weimar. There were two aspects of the Bauhaus that he objected to: Expressionism based on individualism, especially as practised by Itten, and the fact that Gropius had advertised a school of architecture but was not teaching architecture at the Bauhaus, while maintaining a private architectural office within the walls of the school. On both points his attack proved effective. The young people who had recently entered the Bauhaus - Karl-Peter Röhl, Werner Graeff, Walter Dexel, Kurt Schmidt, Helmuth von Erffa and others - were in search of a philosophy of life just like their slightly older fellow-students, but had not yet come to accept Itten's teachings, or else were immune to them. So they, as well as others not enrolled at the Bauhaus, found a treasure trove in van Doesburg's lectures, with their consistent, simple and incontrovertible insistence on order and harmony, heralding the coming of a new style based on modem mechanization, composed of horizontal-vertical coordinates. The masters at the Bauhaus looked on at Doesburg's activities in Weimar with growing disapproval. Doesburg himself, naturally with some exaggeration, claimed that they 'wished him to leave', that 'in the winter of 1921, his windows had been broken; what was more, traces of revolver shots could be found on them [there is no other evidence to corroborate this]. In addition, Bauhaus students were "prohibited" from attending Stijl events in Weimar.'11

  • 12 Hans L.C. Jaffe, De Stijl 1917-1931. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1986, p. 20.
  • 13 Werner Graeff, 'The Bauhaus, the De Sti]l group in Weimar and the Constructivist Congress of 1922' (...)

10Van Doesburg was filled with extraordinary resentment. In January 1921 he wrote to a friend: 'In Weimar I have caused great havoc. So this is the famous academy with the most up-to-date teachersl I spoke with students every evening, spreading the toxin of the new ideas everywhere. There will be a new issue of De Stijl, and it will be more radical than ever before. I feel enormous energies stirring within me, and I am convinced that our ideas will conquer all.'12 Werner Graeff in his memoirs puts it this way: Doesburg's 'only purpose in staying in Weimar was to do battle from outside.'13

  • 14 Schlemmer, Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, 23 June 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 109.
  • 15 Schlemmer, Diary entry, November 1922; ibid., p. 132.

11Van Doesburg had considerable influence on Schlemmer. In the light of his views Schlemmer came to see things more critically: 'To give you an idea: the Bauhaus has no course in architecture … And yet the Bauhaus stands for the primacy of architecture. The blame falls on Gropius, who is the only architect at the Bauhaus but has no time for teaching. A programme could be set up (theoretically), but It would be hard to implement … I am not resentful and eager for a putsch … What I would like to see is this: more architecture at the Bauhaus, more discipline in the other fields; the Bauhaus should seek out, collect, and preserve all the possible laws of artistic production.'14 A year and a half later he writes: 'What do I want? To create a style in painting which springs from a necessity beyond fad and aesthetic form, which can hold its own against the perfect utility of functional objects and machines. - This style must thus necessarily be ethical in nature … I do not believe in craftsmanship... Handmade objets d'art in the age of the machine and technology would be a luxury for the rich, lacking a broad popular basis and roots in the people.'15 All of these ideas are echoes of van Doesburg; they stayed with Schlemmer for a long time.

  • 16 Feininger, Letter to his wife, 14 November 1921; in Ness (ed.), op. cit., p. 11Z see also Froncisc (...)

12It would seem that Doesburg did not refrain from intrigues, either. In November 1921 Feininger writes: 'Yesterday I had a visit from van Doesburg. We had a long talk together. He at least is very real and of healthy flesh and blood. He was rather explicit on Monsieur Itten. It seems this champion of theosophy at times does not act up to the role. He is said to have ripped down my work and to have left hardly a shred of my person, which is gratifying. Anyhow he did it publicly - he should come to grips with me and we might get even.'16 Regardless of what Itten said about Feininger in private or public, Doesburg was obviously inciting a rift within the Bauhaus by setting Feininger against Itten.

13In addition to his efforts to deepen the polarization within the Bauhaus, van Doesburg became engaged in a large-scale International organizing activity. In fact he and Gropius had similar motivations: just as Gropius had perceived the world-renowned town of Weimar as the possible capital of a 'republic of the spirit', so van Doesburg had in mind a European perspective and international ambitions when he approached Weimar as a new artistic centre potentially opposed to Paris. But he was determined that it would be under his flag that Weimar should achieve equal rank with Paris.

14His wounded feelings merely inflated the scope of his ambitions. In 1922, when it became obvious that he would not receive a teaching post at the Bauhaus - Gropius's hiring of Kandinsky in June had clinched this fact - van Doesburg was moved to take extreme action. In September of that year he launched a concerted attack from all sides on the Bauhaus.

  • 17 A detailed account appeared in MA, Vienna, 30 August 1922, VIII/8, pp. 61-4.
  • 18 Von Wiese, op. cit., p. 268, quotes van Doesburg's text in Mecono 1922/3.

15The first International Congress of Progressive Artists,17 held in Dusseldorf in May 1922, gave him the idea to convene an International Congress of Constructivists and Dadaists in September - of all places, in Weimar. On this occasion he called the Bauhaus 'an art-hospital infected by idiots, Mazdaznan, and spineless Expressionism', and wrote in the same vein on the pages of his Dadaist periodical Mecano, where he made fun of the absolute incompetence of the 'masters', and asked: 'could it be that the students have greater abilities than their masters?'18

16The sharpest and most extreme attack, indicating that van Doesburg had been insulted to the core, came in an article probably written by van Doesburg but signed by the Hungarian Vilmos Huszár, one of the founders of De Stijl. The piece appeared in the September 1922 issue of De Stijl, in connection with the summer exhibition at the Bauhaus, and in full awareness of the ongoing struggle of the Bauhaus to obtain continued financial support from the Thuringian parliament. It concluded by asking three questions:

  • Can the announced goals be attained in the face of such obstinate individualism, which allows everyone to follow his own inclinations?
  • Is there any chance of reunifying all the different crafts when there is no training based on a unified concept?
  • Can we justify, in a country economically and politically so bankrupt, the continued appropriation of huge sums to an institute such as the Bauhaus today?
  • 19 Huszär, 'Das Staatliche Bauhaus In Weimar'; in De Stijl, September 1922, pp. 135-7. For the sake o (...)


My answer is: NO - NO – NO
The unproductiveness of the current Bauhaus makes the continued support of the institute as a 'diploma-distributing' school a crime against civilization and the state. There is something rotten at the Bauhaus. Only radical measures can bring improvement. The 'artist-masters' have to be fired and the foundations of workshop activities must be rebuilt on strictly rationalist principles.19

  • 20 MA, VIII/8, Vienna, 30 August 1922, p. 64.

17Van Doesburg's ravings were not without cause. In 1922 the survival of the avant-garde was indeed a matter of life and death. The fervid Utopias that arose in the 1910s and placed their hopes not only in the revolution, but, as György Lukács said, international revolution, continued to balloon until they peaked around 1922, when, their fire spent, the dreamers of Utopias found themselves back on the damp and cold ground of reality. Van Doesburg, the Constructivist painter, designer, architect and Dadaist poet, felt these changes on his own skin, and well understood the meaning of Hans Richter and El Lissitzky's statement at the Dusseldorf Congress in May 1922: 'Today we are still in between two societies: one of which has no use for us; the other whose time has not yet come.'20 At this time, in 1922, van Doesburg could very well have used the Bauhaus for the gratification of his overweening ambition, an appropriate throne for the high priest of the European avant-garde. Indeed, It would have seemed his only chance for survival as a progressive artist and for salvaging avant-garde values for a new historical era.

***

18Under the constellation of this historical shift the conflict between Itten and Gropius came to be increasingly tense.

  • 21 Minutes of the 1 October 1921 meeting of the Bauhaus Masters' Council, Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, uni (...)
  • 22 Schlemmer, letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, 7 December 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 114.
  • 23 Ibid.

19Itten took a twofold line of attack against Gropius and the limitation of his own role. At the 1 October 1921 meeting of the Masters' Council he proposed - aware of his own popularity and influence - that the students should be allowed a free choice of form masters. On the other front, he declared against the functioning of the Bauhaus, an educational institution, in any business capacity. He objected to the judging of the students' work by anyone other than the masters - such as the firm buying their works - lest the school turn Into 'a source of income for the state'.21 But this is precisely what the Bauhaus was being forced to allow, no matter how much it went against the grain of its pedagogical principles, because only an output of objects usable by the population could justify it in front of the constantly hostile Weimar public. There was no time for certain essential components of the pedagogic effort: the making of long-range plans for years ahead, the process of maturation, the possibility, the right to make mistakes. They had to produce immediately. Besides, the students' living expenses had to be covered. In the midst of rapidly worsening inflation and the hard reality of a country at an economic nadir, this was the only chance for generating some income to enable the students to stay on at the Bauhaus. Gropius was not able to accept Itten's proposals, and this further sharpened the conflict between them. After this, Itten no longer bothered to observe proper procedures. 'Itten allegedly carries Mazdaznan principles into the classroom, differentiating between the adherents and non-adherents on the basis of ideology rather than on the basis of achievement. So apparently a special clique is being formed and is splitting the Bauhaus into two camps, the teachers also being drawn In. Itten has managed to have his course made the only required one; he further controls the important workshops and has a rather considerable, admirable ambition: to put his stamp on the Bauhaus.'22 So writes Oskar Schlemmer in December 1921. Now this is the situation: Gropius is an excellent diplomat, businessman, and practical genius. In the Bauhaus he has a large private office, and he receives commissions for building villas in Berlin. Berlin, business and lucrative commissions, partially or hardly understood by the students (whom Gropius wants to help get jobs this way) - these are scarcely the best prerequisites for Bauhaus work. Itten is right to attack this practice and demand that the students be allowed to work undisturbed. But Gropius contends that we should not shut out life and reality, a danger (if it is a danger) implied by Itten's method; for instance, workshop students might come to find meditation and ritual more important than their work.23

20By involving Mazdaznan in his teaching activities Itten not only infringed the constitution of the Bauhaus, but also sinned against the purity of his own pedagogical principles and methods. At this time he used Mazdaznan both as an ideology and as an instrument in his struggle for power. The tenets of Mazdaznan, in addition to and in place of their meaning in and of themselves, now received a local validity vis-à-vis the current situation: to be an adherent of Mazdaznan meant first and foremost taking Itten's side against Gropius.

  • 24 Schreyer, letter to Gropius, Weimar, 9 December 1921; In Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 289-90.

21The Bauhaus masters observed with concern the deepening of this conflict, for the split into two parties could easily have meant the end of the school. Two days after Schlemmer's letter, quoted above, Lothar Schreyer wrote to Gropius: 'I fear an open conflict between you and Mr Itten … Such a conflict would be destructive. It will destroy the essence of the Bauhaus. You have within your power to force Mr Itten to stop his work; Mr Itten has within his power the capability of making your work much more difficult. The Bauhaus would not be able to survive either eventuality … I ask you and Mr Itten not to allow matters to reach that point… Both of you should acknowledge that the Bauhaus is a collective effort, and must stay that way. As long as this duel is not resolved, every concrete problem arising in class or workshop, every organizational issue will be nothing else than an instrument of this conflict.'24

  • 25 Paul Klee. 'The Play of Forces In the Bauhaus'; In Wingler, op. cit., p. 50, and Isaacs, op. cit.. (...)

22Even Paul Klee, whose usual taciturnity and impartiality in public affairs earned him the nickname 'The Good Lord', was moved to comment, trying to moderate the passions, from his own ethereal, cosmic viewpoint: 'I welcome the fact that forces so differently oriented are working together in our Bauhaus. I also approve the conflict between these forces if its effect is evidenced in the final accomplishment. To meet an obstacle is a good test of strength for every force - provided it is an obstacle of an objective nature. Value judgments are always subjectively limited, and thus a negative judgment on someone else's work can have no significance for the work as a whole. In general, there is no right or wrong; rather, our work lives and develops through the interplay of opposing forces, just as in nature the good and the bad work together productively in the long run.'25

  • 26 Georg Muche, Memorandum - comment at the 8 December 1921 meeting of the Masters' Council; in Franc (...)
  • 27 Gropius. Letter to Lily Hildebrandt, Weimar, probably late 1922/early 1923; in Isaacs, op. cit., p (...)
  • 28 Schlemmer. Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, June 1922; in T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 123.

23With the exception of Muche, who stuck to his view that 'Each master approaches the students in his own manner, teaches in his own manner, and conducts his workshop in his own manner'26 - which was, in this case, not a general statement of theory, but a defence of Itten's rights -the Bauhaus masters, Instead of taking sides in the struggle, felt It was more important to preserve unity and the school's integrity by having Gropius and Itten reach a compromise and thereby assure the undisturbed continuance of work. Although they all considered Itten's activities and influence excessive, no one wanted his departure, not even Gropius, whose view of the situation, in the final analysis, was similar to Klee's. He wrote in a letter: 'I got entangled in a difficult duel with Itten. I want to remain strong, but at the same time I wish him to stay; both of us are essential.27' (Emphasis added.) Schlemmer develops this in more detail: Itten's departure 'would certainly mean a loss for the Bauhaus. Pedagogically he is more skilled than the rest, and he has a decided talent for leadership. I sense all too keenly the lack of those qualities in myself. Furthermore: when Gropius need no longer fear the strong opposition of Itten, he himself will constitute by far the greater threat.'28

  • 29 Von Erffa, 'The Bauhaus before 1922'; in College Art Journal, 1943, p. 18.

24Thus there was general agreement that Itten should be retained because of his indispensable value to the community, while his personal sphere of influence and the extent of his activities should be limited to the channels where they would be of optimal benefit to the entire Bauhaus community. Not only the masters, but by this time the students as well, began to see Itten in this light. Helmuth von Erffa writes, 'Meanwhile a silent revolt against Itten was growing. It came into the open in December 1921, when the Bauhaus celebrated a very expressionistic Christmas Eve. Gifts were opened in the presence of all and greetings read and shown about. Itten received from a group of students the equivalent of a joking valentine which requested him to kindly stay out of some of the workshops. When I asked older students about it I was told that he was disturbing them and trying to give advice in technical matters he knew nothing about.'29

25The Bauhaus was indeed on the way towards functioning as a whole, an organism striving to reach a state of equilibrium and inner harmony. If there were two valid principles at a given moment of history, then both of them would be represented within the walls of the school. Schlemmer's observation that without Itten to keep him in check, Gropius would 'constitute by far the greater threat', points to the fact that not only principles, but individuals, too, need to be kept in check. The victor in an obvious power struggle will understandably arouse concern in the members of the community, no matter which side wins: his increased power goes with a decrease in the forces that kept it in check. At the same time, in order for the spiritual 'whole' to come about as originally conceived by Gropius, both principles as described by Schlemmer, the mystical and the rationalistic, represented by Itten and Gropius respectively, should have come to terms, and by coexisting and collaborating in peace should have shown an example of true and profound tolerance, understanding and selflessness. Voluntary self-limitation was needed.

  • 30 Gropius and Itten's exchange of letters is in Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 291-4.
  • 31 Ibid., p. 292.

26Sooner or later the actual conflict latent in the situation was bound to resurface: this occurred in January 1922. Gropius found out that in the cabinet-making workshop, which, according to the earlier decision, belonged to him, Itten, without prior consultation, had initiated new projects and was ordering fresh supplies. Gropius wrote to Itten, requesting him not to start new work in this workshop. He referred to their agreement, according to which Gropius would not interfere with projects already under way, while requesting Itten to honour the other provision of the agreement, by not starting any new work projects.30 Itten replied that the work involved had been planned for nine months, and its realization anticipated for two and a half years. It would benefit both the students and the Bauhaus. 'And now, instead, your architectural commissions will have to be executed, which I feel to be harmful under the conditions, and therefore oppose.' In the same letter he resigned from his position in the cabinet-making, metalwork, wood- and stone-sculpture workshops, and refused any responsibility having to do with these. 'So my activity in the workshops is over. - I am limiting the time devoted to teaching to the number of hours given by other masters; in other words, I am ceasing my entire compulsory teaching load. I am also informing you that I have lost all of my deeper interest in the Bauhaus.'31

  • 32 Ibid., p. 293.
  • 33 Ibid., p. 294.

27This was an overreaction and it might have been partially precipitated by the Christmastime practical joke, and the general feeling that the changing times and tastes were pointing away from all that Itten stood for. Gropius's response was glum. He reminded Itten that in effect nothing had really happened to justify such a series of steps; at the same time he stated that the tensions between the two of them were due to personal. not to objective, causes. 'For some time past you have shown a regular hatred towards my person … and this, much to my regret, paralyses our collaboration.'32 He requested Itten to continue his teaching until the end of the semester, for the sake of the students. Itten agreed to this, concluding his reply: 'In the hope that I have withdrawn sufficiently far away for you to freely realize your plans and intentions, without my observations standing in your way, and in order to end all arguments, I close this final communication - Johannes Itten.'33

28So Itten proved unwilling to accept his new, limited role; he, too, wanted all or nothing. He was ready to give up his irreplaceable and invaluable pedagogic work because his personal ambitions were not about to be fulfilled. I have already quoted Gropius's statement: 'I am coming to Weimar full of excitement and with the firm intention of creating one great Whole, or else, failing that, to disappear quickly.' Van Doesburg and Itten were motivated by the same ambition and pride that refused to put up with failure. These lines could have been written by Itten, perhaps the only difference being that at the outset Itten's Ideas were not as well defined as Gropius's. He had an informal, spiritual leadership in mind, intending to become no mere director, but the actual, essential centre of things.

  • 34 Walter Gropius, 'The Viability of the Bauhaus Idea', circular addressed to the Bauhaus Masters, 3 (...)
  • 35 Ibid.

29It seemed that Itten's extremism and inflexibility, his intolerance in a religious sense, had precipitated a decision on Gropius's part to take a stand and announce a new turn of events. After his exchange of letters with Itten, in February 1922 Gropius took the step that the others had feared, and brought the affair in front of the inner forum of the Bauhaus. He addressed a circular to the Bauhaus masters, requesting their response. 'Master Itten has again faced us with a decision: either to produce individualized pieces of work that go counter to the commercially oriented outside world or to seek contacts with industry … I look for unity in the fusion, not in the separation, of these approaches to life.'34 Then, in reformulating one of the essential points of the 1919 Bauhaus programme, that of sequestration from society, he went on to proclaim its very opposite: 'The Bauhaus could become a haven for eccentrics if it were to lose contact with the work and working methods of the outside world. Its responsibility consists in educating people to recognize the basic nature of the world in which they live, and in combining their knowledge with their imagination so as to be able to create typical forms that symbolize that world … If we were to reject the world around us completely, the only remaining way out would be the "romantic island". I see a danger to our youth in the indications of a wild romanticism'.35

30Gropius naturally did not raise objections to Itten's personality, but to all that he stood for. In this memorandum, dating from early 1922, sensing the gradual lifting of the Expressionist fog, Gropius anticipates later events, and questions even the programme of crafts training that he formulated earlier. He reaches at the same time towards the future of industrial design and towards his earlier ideas about it.

  • 36 Ibid., p. 52.

The entire 'architecture' and the 'arts and crafts' of the last generation … is, with very few exceptions, a lie. In all of these products one recognizes the false and spastic effort 'to make art'. They actually stand in the way of the development of pure joy in the art of 'building'. Today's architect has forfeited his right to exist… The engineer, on the other hand, unhampered by aesthetics and historical inhibitions, has arrived at clear and organic forms… How the broad gulf between the activity we practise in our workshops and the present level of the crafts and industry outside will some day be closed, that is the unknown quantity … It is possible that the work in the Bauhaus workshops will lead more and more to the production of single prototypes (which will serve as guides to the craftsman and industry).36

  • 37 Muche, Memorandum to the Masters' Council, 8 February 1922, in answer to Gropius's circular; in Fr (...)

31The Bauhaus masters responded to these reflections. Muche rose to defend art as sharply as Henry van de Velde did in 1914. Like his distant colleague, he, too, took his stand by analysing the situation - and thus, defending Itten: 'It is my opinion that today, as ever, art is still an end in itself, and for people unequivocally gifted as artists it will always remain an end in itself, even where it seems to be applied to other ends. I am afraid that by making the denial of the formal (l'art pour l'art) a basic tenet, the freedom of the creative individuality becomes too curtailed. The picture that has no purpose is just as originally creative as the functional machine of the technician.'37

  • 38 S. Marcks's reply to Gropius's circular. 16 February 1922; in Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 296-7.

32Gerhard Marcks, whose response was jointly signed by Klee, Feininger, Muche, Itten, and Schlemmer, wrote down a symbolic story about an artist who dreamed of a colour composition for a flowerbed, and handed his plan over to a gardener for realization. The gardener shook his head and protested: he could not plant the drought-loving cactus next to a water-lily, nor would it make sense to plant a flower blooming in October next to one flowering in April, for the desired effect would not be seen. Whereupon the painter exclaimed, 'You're no gardener at alll' Marcks went on to conclude, 'The moral is: as far as the aesthetics of the machine are concerned, the Bauhaus came into being from our hope, groping in the darkness, that our students would become what, alas, none of us were - both masters of form and masters of handicraft, in one and the same person.'38 The confrontation of Groplus and Itten leads us back to a statement In the Manifesto, 'art cannot be taught'. By drawing a qualitative and gradational distinction between art and craft ('the artist is an exalted craftsman'), Groplus divided creative work into two phases: the first one could be taught and was therefore socially controllable - this was craftsmanship, technical proficiency which flexibly adapts to modem industrial technology and contemporary requirements - and the second one not teachable, not controllable, and inevitably not even directable, which we may call Intuition, individual inspiration, or, as Groplus did, 'rare moments of inspiration'. And since the Bauhaus was a collective, the experimental model of a 'great Whole', it was of prime importance that whatever could be taught should be made public property - while that which could not be taught could not be shared completely by any community.

  • 39 Wick, Op. Cit., p. 105.

33Behind this simple thesis, 'art cannot be taught', lay a conflict reduced to the opposition of the individual and the collective; in Ralner Wick's words, the polarity of 'the autonomous artist versus the socially committed designer's mentality'.39

34By insisting on the rights of the autonomous artist, Itten compelled Gropius to take the side of the socially committed designer, no matter how much the latter would have liked the peaceful unification of these two functions.

35Everyday reality - the external pressure for proof of utility, and the internal movements towards inner equilibrium at the Bauhaus - demanded the acceptance of one, and the rejection of the other of these two alternatives: creative work was either going to be made collective, or not. Essentially this meant a critique of Groplus's notion of the joining and fruitful collaboration of art and technology, of artist and craftsman. The artist, in this case Itten, refused to collaborate or partake in work processes that were not based on artistic values. In his Manifesto Gropius had distinguished between art and craft most probably for the sake of a clear distinction between distant and immediate goals, as well as out of respect for the unteachable component. He did not intend to exercise the least control or influence over what, according to his lights, was neither controllable nor knowable. At the same time, as his June 1919 address testifies, he attempted to place art in its entirety beyond the pale of the school's concerns. From the viewpoint of the Bauhaus as a collective, he decided that for the time being the potentially sharable, and therefore teachable, manual techniques had to be kept separate from the unknowable creative energies swirling at the depths of the individual psyche. He had to present everyone with a 'tabula rasa' on which no one had any 'positional advantage' by way of some given ability that was not 'acquired through hard work'.

36Possibly Gropius himself had not realized that he had imagined the Bauhaus along the lines of a well-designed functional object, in which only those details are beautiful that are also useful for the object as a whole. Yet it was just this idea, stemming from Gropius's original value system - and that this notion, although relegated to the background for some years, had remained unchanged, is evinced by a 'slip' in the Manifesto: 'unproductive artist' - which endowed the meanings of the words artist and craftsman with certain ethical overtones. This made the 'artist' - Itten - stand for an individualistic attitude that ignored public interest and the creation of 'forms readily understood by everyone', and instead of acting as a participating member of society, remained a 'solitary eccentric' imprisoned in a 'romantic insularity' - in contrast to the designer who turns to address the needs of the community. Such an opposition meant a drawing away from the spirit of the Manifesto, from the proclamation of the union of 'architects, painters, sculptors', and approached the views held by a society hostile to avant-garde art about the incomprehensible and cranky 'modern artist' and the 'honest craftsman'. This was the road leading to the extreme where artistic talent and creativity would be labelled an 'apelike excitability'.

37The Preliminary Course and the workshops comprised separate worlds, and their essential differences could only symptomatically and temporarily be glossed over by the fact that Itten extended the sphere of his activities to cover the workshops as well. For the workshops could not accommodate the enormous creative imagination and energies liberated by Itten's Preliminary Course in his students. All this had to be subordinated to professional discipline and technical constraints in the workshops, just as in Gerhard Marcks's parable: no matter how wonderful the colour compositions dreamed up by the students for their symbolic gardens, the basic characteristics of the various crafts made some of them physically impossible to realize. The conflict, translated into the language of Bauhaus praxis, meant that either Itten had to take over total direction of the programme, no matter what dilettantism this would bring to the workshops, or else the Preliminary Course had to be altered radically so that it acted entirely in the spirit of, and as preparation for, the subsequent workshop training.

38Even though the issue, in words and deeds as regards the inner structure of the Bauhaus, was the role and meaning of the arts in the value system of the school, the rest of the painting masters, Klee, Kandinsky, Schreyer and Schlemmer, did not come to the defence of Itten and autonomous creative freedom. They, too, thought in terms of the situation, and refused to interfere in the single combat of Itten and Gropius. In spite of all theoretical aspects, this was clearly a private conflict, an affair of honour that concerned only the two of them.

  • 40 Schlemmer. Letter to Otto Meyer. 7 December 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 114.

39Schlemmer analysed the struggle of these two men from a more distant perspective. 'These two alternatives strike me as typical of current trends in Germany. On the one hand, the influence of oriental culture, the cult of India, also a return to nature In the Wandervogel movement and the others like it; also communes, vegetarianism, Tolstoyism, reaction against the war; and, on the other hand, the American spirit, progress, the marvels of technology and Invention, the urban environment… Or are progress (expansion) and self-fulfilment (introspection) mutually exclusive?'40

40Above and beyond personal ambitions and rivalries, the higher historical forces evidently had a say in the outcome of this episode in the eternal struggle of the two principles. The awesome clashes of rationalism and mysticism, exalted utilitarianism and the Irrational disguised behind a mask of reason, were to follow each other in rapid succession on the German horizon. Itten and Gropius's conflict was merely one humble scene in a vast drama, one that moreover did not result in a synthesis, as a result of the playwright's whim in granting rationalism a brief reprieve.

41In the end, Gropius managed to stay on top of the situation. The Bauhaus masters placed greater value on the survival of the school than on the hegemony of their private philosophies. Thanks to his memorandum, and the self-restraint of the masters, bringing his fight with Itten into the open did not deteriorate into ad hominem attacks, but instead directed attention towards such unsolved issues, of concern for everyone at the Bauhaus, as the twofold leadership of workshops, art and craft, the relation of art to the machine, the reconciliation of communal interests with the unfolding of the individual, and contacts with factories.

  • 41 Schlemmer, Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, late March 1922; in T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 117.
  • 42 Peter Hahn, '"herr kandinsky, Ist es wahr" - Kandinsky als Bauhausmeister'; in Kandinsky -Russisch (...)
  • 43 Exhibition of the Work of Journeymen and Apprentices in the Staatliche Bauhaus Weimar, April-May 1 (...)
  • 44 Cf. Scheidig, op. cit., p. 28.

42Meanwhile van Doesburg continued to offer his rival course In town (Schlemmer had already turned away from him);41 Gropius had already sent his letter inviting Wasslly Kandinsky, which would be delivered at the Kremlin by Karl Radek,42 and in April-May the exhibition of the Bauhaus students' work opened, to travel later In the year to Calcutta, with the help of Rabindranath Tagore. The exhibition displayed mostly works created in the Preliminary Course, accompanied by a few workshop pieces. Itten, who wrote the text of the pamphlet accompanying the exhibition of his students' work, emphasized, by way of a last plea, 'The personality of each student is allowed to develop freely in his work in order to enable him to contribute to the practical realization of the common idea.43 The exhibition was not a success; the public at large was scared away by the futurist-Dadaist and Expressionist features, while those to whom this kind of thing would have meant something - van Doesburg and his close associate El Lissitzky - held precisely Itten's activity to be the most retrograde at the Bauhaus, and judged these works to be confused and meaningless from a Constructivist point of view.44

  • 45 Ibid., p. 29.
  • 46 Miller-Lane, op. cit., pp. 76-7. Miller-Lane believes that Buschmann was influenced by Spengler's (...)

43In the summer of 1922 the masters of the Bauhaus, too, participated in an exhibition at the Weimar Landesmuseum, where, in the rooms on the right-hand side, the 'First Thuringian Art Exhibition' showed traditional paintings by the masters of the reorganized fine arts academy, among them Klemm and Engelmann, while in the rooms on the left Feininger, Klee, Itten, Marcks, Muche, Schreyer and a few abstract painters of Weimar showed their works. This exhibition was of course condemned, in close association with the students' works, the general opinion being that at the Bauhaus 'sick souls are misleading the youth into useless activities'.45 The Thuringian press - in contrast to the nationwide acclaim -renewed its attacks on the Bauhaus. Again the school's position became critical. The political right - which in June had assassinated in Berlin the foreign minister Walter Rathenau, who happened to be a Jew - reached such extremes in the Thuringian papers as the article by the architect Arthur Buschmann in the Jenaische Zeitung, in which he referred to the maquettes of a modem housing project at the Bauhaus exhibition as 'an attempt to return to the primitive art forms of inferior races', and took the opportunity to issue a warning about the dangers of miscegenation.46

  • 47 El Lissitsky and Ilya Ehrenburg, 'Declaration to the First Düsseldorf Congress of Progressive Arti (...)

44One month before the publication of this article Kandinsky had accepted Gropius's invitation, and the man who was perhaps the most respected modem artist in Europe joined the Bauhaus faculty. In November of the same year the Russian Art Exhibition (the first to be held abroad since 1917) opened at the Van Diemen gallery in Berlin; with this. Constructivism appeared on German soil to start its afterlife as an international art movement. Although the term 'Constructivism' came into use only as late as 1921, its actual active period occurred years earlier; its Utopias, as the Russian artists now arriving in Berlin discovered to their surprise, belonged to the same spheres of thought as the ideas of the radical German artists. 'In Russia, during the seven years of total isolation, we faced the same problems as our friends in the west, without either of us being aware of this,' said llya Ehrenburg and El Lissitzky in May 1922 in Düsseldorf.47 However, the historical phase teeming with Utopias had passed. Oskar Schlemmer had noted this in his diary in June 1922; but its most moving expression came from the pen of a Russian writer, Mikhail Slonimsky, who put the following words into the mouth of a suicide revolutionary in his short story published in 1923, and most probably written in 1922:

  • 48 Mikhail Slonlmsky, The Emery Machine, 1923.

I won't make a fuss, I'll shoot myself in the head … We have shot in the head, crushed, annihilated everything that even slightly resembled the past. We have skipped forward a thousand years, a millennium separated us from those we exterminated … In brief, I struggled against time and space, I wanted to make the future present. This had seemed possible in those panic-stricken, confused years when time seemed to vanish, but now that the panic has ceased, life again proceeds in time and space. And even If space can be conquered, time cannot. Life is again motivated by the same old things: love, money and fame.48

Notes

1 Feininger, in Ness (ed.), op. cit., Letter. 8 July 1919; p. 1 là.

2 Minutes of the 7 February 1921 meeting of the Bauhaus Masters' Council. Bauhaus Archiv. Berlin, unit no. 7/5.

3 'Umlauf an den Meisterrat'. 15March 1921; in Hüter, op. cit., p. 227.

4 Schlemmer. Letter to Tut, Weimar. 3 March 1921; in T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 103.

5 See this chapter, note 2.

6 Tom Wolfe. The Painted Word. Bantam Books. New York. 1976; 'The Apache Dance', pp. 13-22.

7 Joost Baljeu, Theo von Doesburg. Studio Vista, London, 1974; quotes van Doesburg's article in the 1927 Jubilee issue of De Stijl. p. 47.

8 Gropius, Letter to Bruni Zevl, quoted in Baljeu, op. cit., p. 43.

9 Lothar Schreyer, 'Erinnerungen an Sturm und Bauhaus', Albert Langen/Georg Müller Vertag, Munich, 1956: quoted in Baljeu, op. cit., p. 43.

10 Herzogenrath, 'Theo van Doesburg In Weimar, 1920-1922' in bauhaus Utopien, op. cit., p. 61.

11 Stefan von Wiese. '"Lasst alle Hoffnung fahren!" Bauhaus und de Stijl im Widerstreit'; in Katalog Sammking Bauhaus Archiv Museum. Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berta 1981, p. 267.

12 Hans L.C. Jaffe, De Stijl 1917-1931. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1986, p. 20.

13 Werner Graeff, 'The Bauhaus, the De Sti]l group in Weimar and the Constructivist Congress of 1922'; in Neumann (ed.), op. cit., p. 76.

14 Schlemmer, Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, 23 June 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 109.

15 Schlemmer, Diary entry, November 1922; ibid., p. 132.

16 Feininger, Letter to his wife, 14 November 1921; in Ness (ed.), op. cit., p. 11Z see also Fronciscono, op. cit., p. 243. note 4.

17 A detailed account appeared in MA, Vienna, 30 August 1922, VIII/8, pp. 61-4.

18 Von Wiese, op. cit., p. 268, quotes van Doesburg's text in Mecono 1922/3.

19 Huszär, 'Das Staatliche Bauhaus In Weimar'; in De Stijl, September 1922, pp. 135-7. For the sake of completeness, the text of a letter sent by Theo van Doesburg to the Bauhaus two years later, in May 1924, deserves quoting in full:
To Mr Moholy-Nagy, requesting him to read this letter at a meeting of the Masters' Council.
Yesterday I received a brochure from Mr Arno Müller, entitled 'The State Bauhaus and Its Director'. After reading this my impression was that the brochure was written chiefly for personal and political motives for the purpose of destroying the Bauhaus, using any sordid means available, thanks to the current political situation in Germany. It does not contain any proposals for reorganization. I was astonished that this brochure quoted an excerpt from an article I published In De Stijl in 1922, and did so without my permission, indeed without even notifying me in any manner. Furthermore, my article [Emphasis added.] was not even reprinted in its entirety. Among others, the last section was omitted, wherein I summed up my opinion of how the artistic and pedagogical direction of the Bauhaus should be implemented in line with the programme of 1919.
I am afraid that this might give the impression that I share the views of Fritz Hall and Miss Freytag von Loringhoven (with whom I find myself in the same boat).
This, as well as the undistinguished character of the brochure, compels me to take a stand.
Needless to say I had nothing to do with this brochure. I ask the masters of the State Bauhaus to indulge my broken German, and consider my sole and unalterable views on this matter:
When I first learned about the Bauhaus and its activity in the field of art I became extremely interested. Inasmuch as its strivings were similar to the Dutch endeavours already in progress, I Intended to join the cause - without the slightest personal motivation - so that I could help the struggle with my artistic and propaganda activities, independently of the Bauhaus. (I recall what Mr Walter Groplus said about our 'Styl-work' in 1920, when I first showed him photographs: 'The artists of the Styl [sic] are much farther ahead than we, but we do not wish to nurture dogmas at the Bauhaus. Everyone should express his own creative individuality,' etc., etc.) When I travelled to Weimar (led not only by personal initiative) and began to work there Independently of the Bauhaus (letter to Mr Gropius), I received a totally different impression of the Bauhaus.
My apartment on Am Horn (and later my studio on Sch. Graben) became a meeting place for those persons who offered sharp criticism of the inner structure of the Bauhaus (with which I was unfamiliar).
These people were not simply opponents of the Bauhaus, but also its friends, masters and students, and close associates of the director. They were the ones who turned to me for criticism. At the time of my residence in Weimar I thought it very strange that the people interested in my ideas could only learn about them in a clandestine manner, and that there could be no possibility of developing such a new artistic approach at the Bauhaus, of all places. This did not seem to be consonant with the widely promulgated Bauhaus manifestos, such as:
'The exchange of ideas with representatives of the revolutionary art of neighbouring countries.' (I am quoting from memory.)
Instead of the 'friendly reception of foreign colleagues' I experienced only increasing narrow-mindedness and hostility.
This inexplicable behaviour of the Bauhaus leadership toward me, furtive, behind my back; the inner split within the Bauhaus; the contradictions between a (basically) sensible programme and its application in practice; the undisciplined work methods, the lack of any relation between master and master, master of form and master of technique, and master and student; the capricious, individualistic artistic production - in short: the entire dichotomy and dispersal of energies invited my criticism.
It is common knowledge, and my friends in Weimar will bear me out, that even if my criticism was sharp, it originated exclusively in my artistic and theoretical differences with the Bauhaus. and was always based on its fundamental programme. (This was the subject of the article published in De Stijl.)
Far was it from me to indulge in mudslinging, and I always firmly rejected any approaches towards that end.
My own criticism was always sincere and open, free of any personal interests.
I never attacked the Bauhaus as such, nor any single Individual.
The chief points of my critique ('et quand-même elle tourne') were as follows:
1. The discrepancy between the programmatic tasks and their implementation.
2. The impossibility of achieving the collective, integral work of architecture, for lack of discipline, for lack of the intellectual community uniting masters of form, technical masters and students.
3. The lack of a general leading idea.
4. The inclusion of purely personal views ('comme I'ampur sans fil...') in the creative process.
5. The development of metaphysical problems and speculations of a political, religious or other nature, instead of common efforts directed at realistic problems pertaining to creative work, etc.
My friends in Weimar will attest that my criticism was always exclusively directed at these perfectly impersonal points.
At the time I expressed my stand to various people in Weimar in the following manner 'I would be of an entirely different opinion if the Bauhaus were merely another free art school where students were expected to experiment according to their own inclinations. I would be happy that such a school existed. The Bauhaus, however, presented a programme, it seemed to espouse a mission, so I ask, how will it reach its goal, and realize its programme, when it scatters its energies in Mazdaznan, In Ittenism and individualistic artistic production?' This was my stand in Weimar in 1920-23. This opinion of mine referred to the centre of artistic reaction, to any and all academic sleeping powders and canned works of art!
I would like to make it clear that the Bauhaus is, in spite of everything, of enormous Importance not only in the evolution of German art, but of universal art as well, inasmuch as it fulfils its cultural mission (that is: It helps the development of all creative potential).
Because of this significance of the Bauhaus, it will have no problems winning over the leading artists of Europe.
I am convinced that if we consider the potential of the Bauhaus without starting from its programme, but see it as a 'cultural phenomenon', then the opponents of Germany and of the Nordic point of view would be glad to hear of the Bauhaus's dissolution. (The German government emphasized the moral obligation of the Bauhaus.)
Do not believe that the artists of De Stijl take that stand. And do not think it of me. either. I ask you to recall the words of one German philosopher: 'Most people criticize the cause they espouse.'
As a pioneer of a new formal language I feel obliged to offer you my support in both a 'positive' and a 'relative' aspect, in regard to the attacks against the Bauhaus. Greetings from your fellow worker, Theo van Doesburg
Inscribed in the right upper corner of the letter the motto: 'L'avenir vient du nord.' (The future approaches from the north.) - Fernand léger.
(Doesburg's letter Is at the Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin.)

20 MA, VIII/8, Vienna, 30 August 1922, p. 64.

21 Minutes of the 1 October 1921 meeting of the Bauhaus Masters' Council, Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, unit no.7/5.

22 Schlemmer, letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, 7 December 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 114.

23 Ibid.

24 Schreyer, letter to Gropius, Weimar, 9 December 1921; In Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 289-90.

25 Paul Klee. 'The Play of Forces In the Bauhaus'; In Wingler, op. cit., p. 50, and Isaacs, op. cit.. pp. 283-4.

26 Georg Muche, Memorandum - comment at the 8 December 1921 meeting of the Masters' Council; in Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 287-8.

27 Gropius. Letter to Lily Hildebrandt, Weimar, probably late 1922/early 1923; in Isaacs, op. cit., p. 293.

28 Schlemmer. Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, June 1922; in T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 123.

29 Von Erffa, 'The Bauhaus before 1922'; in College Art Journal, 1943, p. 18.

30 Gropius and Itten's exchange of letters is in Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 291-4.

31 Ibid., p. 292.

32 Ibid., p. 293.

33 Ibid., p. 294.

34 Walter Gropius, 'The Viability of the Bauhaus Idea', circular addressed to the Bauhaus Masters, 3 February 1922; In Wingler, op. cit., p. 51.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid., p. 52.

37 Muche, Memorandum to the Masters' Council, 8 February 1922, in answer to Gropius's circular; in Franciscono, op. cit., p. 295.

38 S. Marcks's reply to Gropius's circular. 16 February 1922; in Franciscono, op. cit., pp. 296-7.

39 Wick, Op. Cit., p. 105.

40 Schlemmer. Letter to Otto Meyer. 7 December 1921; In T. Schlemmer (ed.). op. cit., p. 114.

41 Schlemmer, Letter to Otto Meyer, Weimar, late March 1922; in T. Schlemmer (ed.), op. cit., p. 117.

42 Peter Hahn, '"herr kandinsky, Ist es wahr" - Kandinsky als Bauhausmeister'; in Kandinsky -Russische Zeit und Bauhausjahre 1915-1933, Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, 1984, p. 60.

43 Exhibition of the Work of Journeymen and Apprentices in the Staatliche Bauhaus Weimar, April-May 1922; probably Itten's text on a leaflet; in Wingler, op. cit., p. 54.

44 Cf. Scheidig, op. cit., p. 28.

45 Ibid., p. 29.

46 Miller-Lane, op. cit., pp. 76-7. Miller-Lane believes that Buschmann was influenced by Spengler's Decline of the West.

47 El Lissitsky and Ilya Ehrenburg, 'Declaration to the First Düsseldorf Congress of Progressive Artists'; In MA, VII/8, Vienna, 30 August 1922. p. 62.

48 Mikhail Slonlmsky, The Emery Machine, 1923.

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