Bauhaus

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A school of art, architecture, and design founded in Germany by Walter Gropius and based between 1919 and 1925 in Weimar, between 1925 and 1932 in Dessau, and between 1932 and 1933 in Berlin, where it was shut down by the Nazis. Named after the medieval Bauhütten, or masons’ lodges, and inspired by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris, the Bauhaus is best known for reintroducing workshop training in lieu of traditional studio art education; unifying artistic creativity and manufacturing; emphasizing functionalism in architecture; and revolutionizing streamlined industrial design. After the closure of the Bauhaus, many former students and teachers fled the Nazi dictatorship, spreading the tenets of the school to many parts of the world. Josef Albers, for example, helped to mold the fledgling graphic design program at Yale while Laszlo-Moholy Nagy founded the Institute of Design at IIT in Chicago, often dubbed the “New Bauhaus,” where a generation of prominent American photographers—from Aaron Siskind to Harry Callahan—imparted new vigor to experiments in modernist photography. The so-called “Ulm Bauhaus” (Ulm School of Design, Germany) operated from 1953-1968 under the direction of former Bauhaus student Max Bill, and its innovative curriculum in design education remains influential even today.

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