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The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

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Éva Forgács

Chapter 16. Endgame

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IF WE SEE the history of the Bauhaus as the fate of the original Bauhaus idea as defined by Gropius, then we may consider this fate fulfilled by Hannes Meyer's manifesto, 'bauhaus and society'. However, the school's history still had a final chapter left: that of Judgment Day.

Mies van der Rohe was appointed director of the Bauhaus on 5 August 1930. Mies was born in 1886, and his career had run in parallel with Gropius's. From 1908 to 1910 they worked together at Peter Behrens's office; they met again in the Novembergruppe, and both were members of the Werkbund, of which Mies was elected vice president in 1926. He was considered one of the most gifted and respected German architects. The ethereal elegance and originality of the German Pavilion he designed for the 1929 Barcelona World Fair brought him world fame. According to Philip Johnson: 'Here for the first time Mies was able to build a structure unhampered by functional requirements... [this was] one of the milestones of modern a...

© Central European University Press, 1995

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