Architecture Planning and Preservation Bauhaus
by
Anna Vallye
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 February 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780190922467-0031

Introduction

The Bauhaus is a paradigmatic institution of 20th-century art, in some contexts synonymous with the aesthetic and discursive institution of modernism itself. Founded in 1919 in the city of Weimar, Germany, the Bauhaus school of design (Staatliches Bauhaus) was formed through the merger of the Weimar Grand Ducal Saxon schools of fine and applied arts by its first director, the architect Walter Gropius. Having attracted controversy and persecution in the tense political environment of the Weimar Republic, the Bauhaus was forced to relocate twice (to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932) before it was finally shut down by the Nazis in 1933. The move to Dessau, however, gave Gropius an opportunity to design and build a new headquarters for the school, which became one of the most iconic contributions to modern architecture. The Bauhaus also lived on in a constellation of attempts to revive its pedagogical and design principles in a range of geographical contexts through the century. More than that, the “Bauhaus” has entered the lexicon of modern art as a formal and conceptual entity, a “style” and an “idea,” with a profound impact on the visual culture of our time. The Bauhaus school was a wellspring of boundary-breaking experiments across the arts, including architecture, industrial and typographic design, theater, photography, textiles, painting, and sculpture. Through the full array of its initiatives, the Bauhaus emerged as an extended interrogation of the changing status and social role of art in the age of industrial production. At its core, however, the Bauhaus was a collective invention of many gifted instructors and students, who shaped the institution as a laboratory of cooperative living, working, and learning. Studies of individual artists and designers, many with distinguished careers beyond the school (Josef and Anni Albers, László and Lucia Moholy-Nagy, Johannes Itten, Marcel Breuer, Oskar Schlemmer, Marianne Brandt, Gunta Stölzl, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Herbert Bayer, and many others) have done much to complicate Bauhaus historiography, demonstrating that its pedagogical philosophies and design approaches shifted with patterns of individual influence and undermining the notion of a cohesive and singular Bauhaus “idea.” The scope of scholarly interest in the institution is matched by the range of artistic disciplines and approaches it encompassed. This means that the extant Bauhaus literature in a plurality of languages and formats could fill a small library building. The 2019 centennial of the school’s founding has provided a fresh infusion of up-to-date scholarship.

Reference Works

The opening of the Bauhaus-Archiv in Darmstadt in 1961 (relocated to Berlin in 1971) was a milestone event for Bauhaus scholarship. The extensive collection of original documents and artworks, culled by German art historian Hans Maria Wingler from the surviving members of the international Bauhaus diaspora under the active stewardship of founding director Walter Gropius, established the foundation for historical study. Today, the Bauhaus-Archiv/Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin is the world’s largest collection on the history of the Bauhaus. Its holdings are further supplemented by substantial collections at the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, the Klassik Stiftung Weimar Museum, focused on materials generated during the first Bauhaus period in Weimar (1919–1923) and at the Harvard University Busch-Reisinger Museum, as well as various dispersed public and private papers. The 2019 centennial was transformative for the Bauhaus legacy. The three major German Bauhaus institutions established the Bauhaus Association (see 100 Jahre Bauhaus/100 Years of Bauhaus) to coordinate centennial events and a related nonprofit Bauhaus Cooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar gGmbH to plan future joint ventures. The 2019 events included many exhibitions around the world; new museums built at the Bauhaus sites in Berlin, Dessau, and Weimar; and new expansive and evolving online resources (Von Osten and Watson 2018–2019; 100 Jahre Bauhaus/100 Years of Bauhaus). The reference works compiled here include a number of edited and illustrated overviews of archival holdings (Wingler 1969; Droste 2019; Wingler 1981; Siebenbrodt and Reissinger 2000). (A brief introduction to the Bauhaus holdings at the Busch-Reisinger is provided in Exhibition Catalogues). Also included is a comprehensive Bauhaus bibliography (Biundo, et al. 1994), an excerpted anthology of writings by Bauhaus figures (Whitford and Engelhardt 1992), a survey of main topics in current scholarship (Fiedler and Feierabend 2006), and an encyclopedic illustrated overview of women artists at the Bauhaus (Rössler 2019).

  • 100 Jahre Bauhaus/100 Years of Bauhaus. 2019.

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    English and German. Produced by the Bauhaus Association 2019 and addressed to the general public, this website is a clearinghouse of events listings, press, and other materials related to the Bauhaus centennial. It includes a historical overview and a magazine publishing articles on various themes relating to the Bauhaus and its contemporary legacies.

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  • Biundo, Christina, Kerstin Eckstein, Petra Eisele, Carolyn Graf, Gabriele Diana Grawe, and Claudia Heitmann. Bauhaus-Ideen, 1919–1994: Bibliographie und Beiträge zur Rezeption des Bauhausgedankens. Berlin: Reimer, 1994.

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    A comprehensive bibliography up to 1994 that includes 4,104 titles.

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  • Droste, Magdalena. Bauhaus, 1919–1933. Cologne, Germany: Taschen, 2019.

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    English. The latest revised and updated edition of Bauhaus 1990. A profusely illustrated survey, culled from the holdings of the Bauhaus-Archiv, the new edition includes over 250 new illustrations.

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  • Fiedler, Jeannine, and Peter Feierabend, eds. Bauhaus. Cologne, Germany: Könemann, 2006.

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    English translation of Bauhaus 1999. An illustrated summary of main topics and themes in Bauhaus scholarship. Includes sections on historical context, pedagogy, social life, individual masters, and successor institutions.

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  • Rössler, Patrick. Bauhausmädels: A Tribute to Pioneering Women Artists. New York: Taschen, 2019.

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    There are multiple books dedicated to female Bauhäuslers, but this volume is unprecedented in its breadth, documenting eighty-seven artists and artisans through short biographical texts and roughly four hundred photographic portraits, taken between 1919 and 1933.

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  • Siebenbrodt, Michael, and Elisabeth Reissinger. Bauhaus Weimar: Designs for the Future. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2000.

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    A richly illustrated overview of the Weimar Bauhaus. Includes sections on Weimar archival collections and the Bauhaus building designed by Henry van de Velde.

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  • Von Osten, Marion, and Grant Watson, eds. Bauhaus Imaginista. 2018–2019.

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    A collaboration between the Bauhaus Cooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar gGmbH, the Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, this website combines a digital catalogue for a series of international traveling exhibitions, an online journal, and a research archive. It is dedicated to tracing the global impacts of the Bauhaus, through the migration, assimilation, and reinterpretation of its practices in places such as China, North Korea, India, Morocco, the Soviet Union, Nigeria, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Brazil.

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  • Whitford, Frank, and Julia Engelhardt, eds. The Bauhaus: Masters and Students by Themselves. London: Conran Octopus, 1992.

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    A collection of excerpted writings by key Bauhaus figures, accompanied by illustrations of their work.

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  • Wingler, Hans Maria. The Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago. Translated by Wolfgang Jabs. Edited by Basil Gilbert, Joseph Stein. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969.

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    Translated and expanded from Wingler’s Das Bauhaus, 1919–1933: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin (Bramsche, Germany: Gebr. Rasch, 1962). This foundational resource is a monumental compendium of primary source documents, excerpted, annotated, and supplied with critical commentaries. Includes sections on the three original Bauhaus sites at Weimar (1919–1923), Dessau (1925–1932), and Berlin (1932–1933), as well as a supplement on the New Bauhaus in Chicago (1937–1949). Reprints include an updated bibliography of primary and secondary sources up to 1975. Last reissued in 2015.

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  • Wingler, Hans Maria, ed. Bauhaus, Archiv, Museum: Sammlungskatalog (Auswahl) Architektur, Design, Malerei, Graphik, Kunstpädagogik. Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv, 1981.

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    German. A selected catalogue of the Bauhaus-Archiv collection, with annotated one-third-page black-and-white illustrations. Through pioneering initiative and exhaustive research, with the full support of Walter Gropius and former Bauhaus members, Wingler founded the Archive and Design Museum and served as its first director.

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Monographic Studies and Surveys

Early Bauhaus historiography was faithful to the framing of the institution’s history supplied by prominent émigré Bauhäuslers, especially those relocated to the United States, supported by powerful cultural institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York (see Exhibition Catalogues). Reflecting the imperatives of accommodation to a new sociopolitical context, these studies emphasized Bauhaus aesthetic and pedagogical innovations and downplayed its radical social ideals. The conception of a unified and apolitical Bauhaus approach, lending itself to easy assimilation, was formulated during this time. Starting in the late 1960s, a generation of scholars drawing on a wealth of newly available primary source documents (see Reference Works), opened a new chapter of Bauhaus historiography attentive to the fraught political and economic contexts that shaped the institution, from national socialism to corporate liberalism, as well as to the succession of internal conflicts and decisive rifts that accompanied its lifespan (Miller Lane 1968; Naylor 1985; Forgács 1995). This critical vein extends to studies of the postwar Bauhaus diaspora in multiple geopolitical contexts, such as Cold War divided Germany, the United States, Israel, India, and South Africa (Rüedi Ray 2010; see also Reference Works). Much of the literature also wrestles with questions of personal and professional identity that accompanied shifts in the cultural and socioeconomic contexts of artistic work brought about by industrialization, urbanization, and modernization. Current scholarship continues to situate the Bauhaus within a range of material and political histories and to explore the rich variety of pedagogical and design philosophies that flourished at the school (Wick 2000; Baumhoff 2001, Scheiffele 2003; Smith 2014; Otto 2019).

  • Bartram, Alan. Bauhaus, Modernism and the Illustrated Book. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

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    A focused study of Bauhaus typographic and book design, as well as its sources and influence.

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  • Baumhoff, Anje. The Gendered World of the Bauhaus: The Politics of Power at the Weimar Republic’s Premier Art Institute, 1919–1932. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2001.

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    A pioneering study of the politics of gender at the Bauhaus as these influenced pedagogy, design, and production.

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  • Dearstyne, Howard. Inside the Bauhaus. New York: Rizzoli, 1986.

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    A historical survey based on first-hand experience by the author, the only American student to have enrolled at the Bauhaus, extensive interviews and correspondence with former Bauhäuslers, and archival documents.

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  • Forgács, Éva. The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics. Translated by John Bátki. Budapest: Central European University Press, 1995.

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    English translation of Bauhaus 1991. Focuses on Bauhaus philosophies and pedagogies, in the context of both interpersonal politics within the institution and its broader sociopolitical contexts. Includes a chapter on the relationship to the Vkhutemas school of design in Moscow.

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  • Hochman, Elaine S. Bauhaus: Crucible of Modernism. New York: Fromm International, 1997.

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    An accessibly written popular overview.

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  • Miller Lane, Barbara. Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918–1945. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

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    Although its focus is at once broader than the Bauhaus and more narrowly concerned with architecture, this study is included here as the groundbreaking venture in contemporary socially and politically situated historiography of the institution.

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  • Naylor, Gillian. The Bauhaus Reassessed: Sources and Design Theory. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1985.

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    A revised and expanded version of Naylor’s classic study The Bauhaus (London: Sudio Vista, 1968). Offers a reassessment in light of newer critical approaches, focused on the relationship between design theory and pedagogy, from Werkbund precursors to the closing of the school in Dessau.

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  • Otto, Elizabeth. Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019.

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    Reaching beyond famous figures and familiar subjects, this analysis of the broader Bauhaus community traces its engagements with occult spirituality, gender fluidity, queer identities, and radical politics.

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  • Rüedi Ray, Katerina. Bauhaus Dream-House: Modernity and Globalization. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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    A study of the global spread, and arguable misappropriation, of Bauhaus architectural pedagogies and design concepts in the postwar period. Includes an analysis of the contexts and means of dissemination, and chapters on western and central Europe, Japan, South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

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  • Scheiffele, Walter. Bauhaus, Junkers, Sozialdemokratie: Ein Kraftfeld der Moderne. Berlin: Form und Zweck, 2003.

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    German. The only book-length study of Bauhaus efforts to establish productive ties with industry, focused on the fraught relationship between the Dessau Bauhaus, the Junkers factory, and local Social Democratic Party leaders.

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  • Smith, T’ai. Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2014.

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    The first scholarly analysis of the Bauhaus weaving workshop and theoretical writings by its members, including Anni Albers, Gunta Stözl, and Otti Berger.

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  • Whitford, Frank. Bauhaus. London: Thames and Hudson, 1984.

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    A World of Art book. Offers an accessible introduction to Bauhaus history, theory, and aesthetics.

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  • Wick, Rainer K. Teaching at the Bauhaus. Translated by Stephen Mason, Simon Lèbe. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2000.

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    An extensive study of Bauhaus pedagogical approaches. Includes separate chapters on the Bauhaus teachers (referred to as “masters”) and overview of the theoretical currents and historical contexts in prewar and postwar Germany. With a chapter by Gabriele Diana Grawe on Bauhaus pedagogy in North America.

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Primary Sources

The Bauhaus was invested in publication, as a means to promote the institution and disseminate the work of its members and as a laboratory for innovations in book and typographic design. Both the Weimar and Dessau sites maintained small presses, with Dessau publishing a journal, and the Bauhaus also partnered with existing publishing houses to produce volumes such as the Bauhaus Books Series (Bauhausbücher). Many Bauhaus faculty members were also prolific authors individually. This small selection focuses on materials that are available in larger-run reprints and/or English translations, while also addressing work done directly at the Bauhaus, rather than that of Bauhaus-affiliated individuals. To coincide with the 2019 Bauhaus centennial, Lars Müller Publishers released a series of Bauhausbücher reprints in English translation (Gropius 2019; Klee 2019; Moholy-Nagy 2019; Mondrian 2019), as well as a facsimile reprint of the Bauhaus Journal, with English translations and scholarly commentary (Müller 2019). Neue Europäische Graphik 1921–1923 focuses on graphic design; Pressestimmen 1980 is a catalogue of press reviews; Gropius, et al. 1977 is an official Bauhaus journal, published at Bauhaus Dessau. Gropius 1935; Moholy-Nagy 1947; Itten 1963; Schlemmer, et al. 1961; and Kandinsky 1975 are statements of philosophy and pedagogical treatises by leading Bauhaus figures. Neumann 1993 includes personal recollections by Bauhaus participants.

  • Gropius, Walter. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus. Translated by P. Morton Shand. London: Faber & Faber, 1935.

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    A statement of philosophy and program, written by the Bauhaus founding director while in exile in England, this is a foundational attempt to define a Bauhaus “idea” and its relevance to new currents in the modern arts, especially architecture.

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  • Gropius, Walter, Ladislaus Moholy-Nagy and Ernst Kallai, eds. Bauhaus, Zietschrift für Gestaltung. Nendeln, Germany: Klaus Reprint, 1977.

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    German. Reprint of journal produced at the Dessau Bauhaus between 1926–1930.

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  • Gropius, Walter. International Architecture. Zurich, Germany: Lars Müller, 2019.

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    English version of Internationale Architektur (München: A. Langen, 1925). This book reproduces the original design and layout of this inaugural volume in the Bauhaus Book Series, providing the text in first-time English translation.

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  • Itten, Johannes. Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus. New York: Reinhold, 1963.

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    A statement of philosophy by the artist who exerted the greatest influence on Bauhaus pedagogy during its first Weimar period.

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  • Kandinsky, Wassily. Cours du Bauhaus. Paris: Denöel Gonthier, 1975.

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    French. A pedagogical statement on the Bauhaus course of study directed by the influential painter.

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  • Klee, Paul. Pedagogical Sketchbook. Bauhausbücher 2. Zurich, Germany: Lars Müller, 2019.

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    English version of Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch (München: A. Langen, 1925). In this edition, the 1953 English translation by Sybil Moholy-Nagy is combined with the graphic design and layout of the original second volume in the Bauhaus Book Series.

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  • Moholy-Nagy, László. The New Vision and Abstract of an Artist. New York: George Wittenborn, 1947.

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    The culminating, enlarged and revised, edition of Von Material zu Architektur (München: A. Langen, 1929). Published shortly after the artist’s death, this statement of philosophy and pedagogy is the sum of his experiences teaching at the Bauhaus and the New Bauhaus in Chicago.

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  • Moholy-Nagy, László, ed. Painting, Photography, Film. Bauhausbücher 8. Zurich, Germany: Lars Müller, 2019.

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    English version of Malerei, Photographie, Film (München: A. Langen, 1925). This edition reproduces the graphic design and layout of the original Volume 8 in the Bauhaus Book Series, designed and edited by Moholy-Nagy, providing the text in first-time English translation.

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  • Mondrian, Piet. New Design. Bauhausbücher 5. Zurich, Germany: Lars Müller, 2019.

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    English version of Neue Gestaltung (München: A. Langen, 1925). In this edition, the classic English translations of Mondrian’s essays by Harry Holtzman are combined with the graphic design and layout of the original fifth volume in the Bauhaus Book Series.

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  • Müller, Lars. Bauhaus Journal 1926–1931: Facsimile Edition. Zurich, Germany: Lars Müller, 2019.

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    English and German. Facsimile reprint of the original fourteen volumes of Bauhaus, zietschrift für gestaltung, accompanied by English translations, with a scholarly commentary by Astrid Bähr.

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  • Neue Europäische Graphik 1921–1923. 5 vols. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1979.

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    German. Reprint of 1923 set of five portfolios produced at the Weimar Bauhaus and dedicated to advanced international graphic design. Volume 1, Meister des Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar, is focused on Bauhaus work.

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  • Neumann, Eckhard, ed. Bauhaus and Bauhaus People: Personal Opinions and Recollections of Former Bauhaus Members and Their Contemporaries. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993.

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    Translated and revised from Bauhaus und Bauhäusler (Bern, Germany: Hallwag, 1971). A collection of statements and first-hand recollections by figures affiliated with the Bauhaus.

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  • Pressestimmen für das Staatliche Bauhaus Weimar. Nendeln, Germany: Klaus Reprint, 1980.

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    German. Reprint of 1924 volume produced at the Weimar Bauhaus. A collection of press reviews of the Bauhaus.

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  • Schlemmer, Oskar, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Farkas Molnar. The Theater of the Bauhaus. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961.

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    English translation of Die Bühne im Bauhaus 1925 (München: A. Langen, 1925). An overview of Bauhaus experiments in theatrical production, costume and stage design. With an introduction by Walter Gropius.

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Anthologies

These edited volumes present overviews of recent scholarship. James-Chakraborty 2006 addresses the Bauhaus’s place in twentieth century modernism, culture, and society. Saletnik and Schuldenfrei 2009 reconsiders the social and conceptual status of objects created at the Bauhaus. Baumhoff and Droste 2009 and Oswalt 2009 survey the pluralism of views at the Bauhaus and controversies in Bauhaus reception. Fiedler 1995 looks at the Bauhaus influence on architecture and city planning in Israel. Lupton and Miller 1991 addresses Bauhaus approaches to design theory. Siebenbrodt and Reissinger 2000 (cited under Reference Works) is dedicated to the Weimar Bauhaus, while Hahn and Wolsdorff 1985 focuses on the Berlin period. Weizman 2019 surveys Bauhaus legacies in architecture. Otto and Rössler 2019a and Otto and Rössler 2019b explore the roles of women and issues of the body at the Bauhaus.

  • Baumhoff, Anja, and Magdalena Droste, eds. Mythos Bauhaus: Zwischen Selbsterfindung und Enthistorisierung. Berlin: Reimer Verlag, 2009.

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    German. Key anthology of scholarly texts that deconstructs the Bauhaus “myth.”

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  • Fiedler, Jeannine, ed. Social Utopias of the Twenties: Bauhaus, Kibbutz and the Dream of the New Man. Wuppertal, Germany: Müller + Busman Press, 1995.

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    Traces the Bauhaus influence on architecture and city planning in Israel.

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  • Hahn, Peter, and Christian Wolsdorff, eds. Bauhaus Berlin. Auflösung Dessau 1932, Schliessung Berlin 1933, Bauhäusler und Drittes Reich: eine Dokumentation. Berlin: Kunstverlag Weingarten, 1985.

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    German. An edited volume documenting the Bauhaus Berlin period, with scholarly texts and a selection of documents.

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  • James-Chakraborty, Kathleen, ed. Bauhaus Culture: From Weimar to the Cold War. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2006.

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    This volume situates the Bauhaus within broader histories of modernism, mass culture, technology, and politics. The chronological range extends from the Wilhelmine precursors of the Bauhaus to its Cold War legacies in Germany and the United States.

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  • Lupton, Ellen, and J. Abbott Miller, eds. The ABCs of [triangle square circle]: The Bauhaus and Design Theory. New York: Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 1991.

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    Co-edited by a practicing designer and a design educator, this volume addresses Bauhaus design theory from a range of theoretical and historical perspectives.

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  • Oswalt, Philipp, ed. Bauhaus Conflicts, 1919–2009: Controversies and Counterparts. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2009.

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    An edited volume produced in conjunction with the exhibitions at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (see Bergdoll and Dickerman 2009, cited under Exhibition Catalogues), commemorating the ninetieth anniversary of the Bauhaus. Essays focus on conflicts of theory and politics within the Bauhaus and on Bauhaus reception both during the school’s existence and after its closing, into the present.

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  • Otto, Elizabeth, and Patrick Rössler, eds. Bauhaus Bodies: Gender, Sexuality, and Body Culture in Modernism’s Legendary Art School. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019a.

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    Essays examine the culture and politics of the body at the Bauhaus, including issues of health and movement, gender and sexuality, and radical lifestyle ideals.

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  • Otto, Elizabeth, and Patrick Rössler. Bauhaus Women: A Global Perspective. London: Herbert Press, 2019b.

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    In forty-five short biographical essays, each dedicated to one cosmopolitan female Bauhäusler, the two authors significantly expand our knowledge of women’s contributions at the Bauhaus, as well as of the school’s global reach.

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  • Saletnik, Jeffrey, and Robin Schuldenfrei, eds. Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse and Modernism. London: Routledge, 2009.

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    Reconsiders the status and meaning of Bauhaus objects in relation to multiple successive reinterpretations of the school’s history. The essays in this volume explore issues such as art and design pedagogy, photographic practices, copyright law, critical theory, and political debates. Includes chapters on the postwar reception of the Bauhaus in the United States and in the German Federal Republic.

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  • Weizman, Ines, ed. Dust & Data: Bauhaus Trajectories in One Hundred Years of Modernism. Leipzig, Germany: Spectorbooks, 2019.

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    A wide-ranging examination of Bauhaus historiographies and historical legacies in architecture. Thematically organized contributions by international scholars and practitioners focus on issues such as historical frameworks, preservation, and the archival status of Bauhaus objects, digital media, migration, and dissemination.

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Exhibition Catalogues

Exhibitions have been significant venues for the diffusion of Bauhaus ideas, and their catalogues have offered important platforms for scholarship in more popularly accessible formats. This selection compiles general scholarly catalogues that accompanied major exhibitions. More thematically focused catalogues are listed in other sections. Bayer, et al. 1938 is the canonical first exhibition of the Bauhaus in the United States. Farmer, et al. 1971 highlights the holdings of the Bauhaus collection at the Busch-Reisinger Museum in Harvard University, while Siebenbrodt 2000 reflects the collection of the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar. Different areas of Bauhaus workshop production are addressed in Fiedler 1990 (photography), Bauhaus-Möbel 2002 (furniture), and Weber 1992 (metalwork). Herzogenrath 1968; Bergdoll and Dickerman 2009; Jaeggi 2009; and Ince, et al. 2012 are catalogues of major retrospectives.

  • Bauhaus-Möbel: eine Legende wird besichtigt/Bauhaus Furniture: A Legend Reviewed. Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv, 2002.

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    English and German. This catalogue of an exhibition held at the Bauhaus-Archiv, Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin and at the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar is a great source on Bauhaus furniture.

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  • Bayer, Herbert, Walter Gropius, and Ise Gropius, eds. Bauhaus 1919–1928. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1938.

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    The canonical exhibition that framed early Bauhaus reception in America. The exhibition concept, checklist, and design were shaped by Walter Gropius, and the catalogue was designed by Herbert Bayer. The book famously eliminates from the historical record the post-1928 tenures of Bauhaus directors Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Includes summary sections on Bauhaus successor institutions, such as the New Bauhaus in Chicago and Black Mountain College.

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  • Bergdoll, Barry, and Leah Dickerman, eds. Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2009.

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    The catalogue of the first major comprehensive Bauhaus exhibition in the United States since 1938. Features short essays by more than twenty leading scholars that highlight selected paradigmatic Bauhaus objects.

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  • Farmer, John David, and Geraldine Weiss, eds. Concepts of the Bauhaus: The Busch-Reisinger Museum Collection. Cambridge, MA: Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1971.

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    This slim catalogue is a good basic introduction to the holdings of the biggest collection of Bauhaus archival documents and artworks in the United States. It also features essays by Bauhaus-affiliated figures. Introductory essays by Charles L. Kuhn, Hannes Beckmann, T. Lux Feininger, Herbert Bayer, and Ise Gropius,

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  • Fiedler, Jeannine. Photography at the Bauhaus. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990.

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    English version of Fotographie am Bauhaus (Berlin: Galerie Gerda Bassenge, 1990). The catalogue of a collection-based exhibition at the Bauhaus-Archiv, this volume features more than 700 illustrations of photographic work and essays by leading scholars of photography.

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  • Herzogenrath, Wulf. 50 Years Bauhaus. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968.

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    Translation of 50 Jahre Bauhaus (Stuttgart, Germany: Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 1968). Catalogue of a groundbreaking traveling exhibition organized by Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart.

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  • Ince, Catherine, Juliette Desorgues, and Lydia Yee, eds. Bauhaus: Art as Life. London: Koenig Books, 2012.

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    Catalogue of the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the United Kingdom in more than forty years, held at the Barbican Art Gallery, with scholarly essays and translations of primary sources.

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  • Jaeggi, Annemarie, ed. Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2009.

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    English. This is the German catalogue for a major traveling retrospective jointly organized by the Bauhaus institutions in Berlin, Dessau, and Weimar and held at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (see Bergdoll and Dickerman 2009).

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  • Siebenbrodt, Michael, ed. Bauhaus Weimar: Designs for the Future. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2000.

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    A comprehensive and well-illustrated catalogue focused on the collection of the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar.

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  • Weber, Klaus. Die Metallwerkstatt am Bauhaus: Austellung im Bauhaus-Archiv, Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin: 9. February–20. April 1992. Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv, 1992.

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    German. An important source on the metals workshop at the Bauhaus.

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Chapters and Articles

This section highlights shorter English-language scholarly contributions on the Bauhaus as an institution, including its reception, legacy, and pedagogy, that have not received a fuller treatment elsewhere. Jordy 1968 is a study of Bauhaus-affiliated architects in exile in the United States. Galison 1990 is an influential discussion of the influence of logical positivism at the Bauhaus and after. Betts 1992 is a study of the Cold War West German reception of the Bauhaus. Koehler 2002 discusses the 1938 Bauhaus exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Schuldenfrei 2012 analyzes the work of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus in Chicago in the context of cultural anxieties related to nuclear aggression and war. Schuldenfrei 2018 frames the concept of luxury in relation to Bauhaus products. Vallye 2017 addresses the relationship between the educational philosophies of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes at the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Koss 2010 explores theater at the Bauhaus (this is an expanded version of an essay in James-Chakraborty 2006 (cited under Anthologies).

  • Betts, Paul. “The Bauhaus as Cold War Legend: West German Modernism Revisited.” German Politics and Society 14.2 (1992): 75–100.

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    An analysis of the debates that accompanied Bauhaus reception in postwar West Germany, focusing on the symbolic use of the institution as a stand-in for a range of political and cultural ideals and critiques.

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  • Galison, Peter. “Aufbau/Bauhaus: Logical Positivism and Architectural Modernism.” Critical Inquiry 16.4 (1990): 709–752.

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    An analysis of the influence of the Austrian scientific philosophy and movement of logical positivism on modern architecture, including at the Bauhaus.

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  • Jordy, William H. “The Aftermath of the Bauhaus in America: Gropius, Mies, and Breuer.” In The Intellectual Migration: Europe and America, 1930–1960. Edited by Donald Fleming and Bernard Bailyn. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968.

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    A critical review of the work of Bauhaus-affiliated architects in America, the essay argues that their work has been influenced, often to its detriment, by a postwar culture of affluence and consumerism.

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  • Koehler, Karen. “Angels of History Carrying Bricks: Gropius in Exile and the Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., 1938.” In Art, Culture, and Media Under the Third Reich. Edited by Richard A. Etlin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

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    A critical analysis of the first US exhibition dedicated to the Bauhaus, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1938, particularly from the standpoint of the aspirations, personal challenges, and cultural anxieties of Walter Gropius as the exhibition’s curator.

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  • Koss, Juliet. “Bauhaus Theater of Human Dolls.” In Modernism After Wagner. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

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    A chapter dedicated to Bauhaus theater in a study of the “total work of art” as a philosophical and cultural ideal. Argues that Bauhaus theater advanced a critical vision of modernity that merged the human body with the machine.

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  • Schuldenfrei, Robin. “Assimilating Unease: Moholy-Nagy and the Wartime/Postwar Bauhaus in Chicago.” In Atomic Dwelling: Anxiety, Domesticity, and Postwar Architecture. Edited by Robin Schuldenfrei. London: Routledge, 2012.

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    Discusses design and pedagogy at the New Bauhaus in Chicago in light of American cultural anxieties about nuclear aggression and war during the 1940s.

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  • Schuldenfrei, Robin. “Capital: The Haus am Horn and the Early Bauhaus” and “Production: The Bauhaus Object and Its Irreproducibility.” In Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany, 1900–1933. By Robin Schuldenfrei. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018.

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    Two chapters dedicated to the Bauhaus within a study focused on the intersection of modernism and luxury, considered in multiple technological, spatial, economic, and psychological registers.

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  • Vallye, Anna. “Vision’s Value for Democracy: Kepes and Moholy-Nagy in Chicago.” In Émigré Design Cultures: Histories of the Social in Design. Edited by Elana Shapira. London: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 2017.

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    A discussion of the relationship between the pedagogical ideals and approaches of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Gyorgy Kepes at the New Bauhaus in Chicago during the late 1930s to mid-1940s.

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Architecture at the Bauhaus

The Bauhaus impact on architectural design and education is incalculable. It is, perhaps, ironic that the first formal curriculum in architecture was established at the school only after 1928, by its second director, Hannes Meyer. Nonetheless, architecture always played a central role in the Bauhaus concept and practice. The institution’s broad ambition to redefine the modern lifestyle called for an ultimately architectural expression. Gropius involved students and faculty in the design work of his atelier, and the first major displays of Bauhaus collaborative production (the 1920–1922 Sommerfeld House in Berlin and the 1924 Haus am Horn in Weimar) involved the construction of buildings. But the most comprehensive and consequential showcase of Bauhaus architectural principles arrived in 1925 when the move to Dessau gave Gropius an opportunity to design and build a new headquarters for the school. The Dessau Bauhaus building (1925–1926) is a realization of Bauhaus ideals in steel and glass and an icon of modern architecture. The Bauhaus footprint in Dessau was augmented by the Bauhaus Masters’ Houses (1925–1926) and the Dessau-Törten Housing Estate (1926–1928), both also designed by Gropius. Kentgens-Craig 1999 explores the history of the Dessau Bauhaus complex, including its fate in Nazi Germany and the Second World War, its re-evaluation and preservation during the German Democratic Republic period, and the establishment of the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau in 1996 when the site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list of monuments. Marugrauf and Prigge 2006 and Thöner and Pooth 2017 document the recently completed, decade-long restoration of the complex. Schwarting 2010 is a monographic study of Dessau-Törten. Winkler 2003 analyzes architectural pedagogies at the Bauhaus, while Nerdinger 1990–1991 is a well-documented archival study of Gropius’s work, including the Bauhaus period.

  • Kentgens-Craig, Margret, ed. The Dessau Bauhaus Building, 1926–1999. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 1999.

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    Translation of Das Bauhausgebäude in Dessau (Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 1999). This richly documented and illustrated edited volume sponsored by the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau traces all phases of the building’s history, including its design, its successive occupants, and its extensive restoration after 1997.

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  • Marugrauf, Monika, and Walter Prigge, eds. Archäologie der Moderne: Sanierung Bauhaus Dessau/Archaeology of Modernism: Renovation Bauhaus Dessau. Berlin: Jovis, 2006.

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    English and German. An exhaustive and well-illustrated documentation of the post-1997 restoration, with essays providing historical context.

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  • Nerdinger, Winfried, ed. The Walter Gropius Archive: An Illustrated Catalogue of the Drawings, Prints, and Photographs in the Walter Gropius Archive at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University. 4 vols. Cambridge, MA: Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, 1990–1991.

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    Translation of Walter Gropius (Bern, Germany: Mann, 1985). A four-volume publication that documents materials spanning the architectural career of Walter Gropius held at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, some drawn from the Bauhaus years. Includes an important historical introduction and critical analysis by Nerdinger.

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  • Schwarting, Andreas. Die Siedlung Dessau-Törten: Rationalität als ästhetisches Programm. Dresden, Germany: Thelem, 2010.

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    German. The only monographic scholarly study of the Dessau-Törten settlement.

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  • Thöner, Wolfgang, and Alexia Pooth, eds. The New Masters’ Houses in Dessau, 1925–2014: Debates, Positions, Contexts. Leipzig: Spector Books, 2017.

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    English-language translation of Neue Meisterhäuser in Dessau (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2017). Remarkably, most of the Dessau Bauhaus structures survived the Second World War nearly intact. But two of the faculty houses built by Gropius, his own Director’s House and László Moholy-Nagy’s Master’s House were reduced to rubble when Dessau was bombed in 1945. This book chronicles debates over restoration and documents the 2014 abstracted reconstruction of the two destroyed houses by the Berlin architectural firm Bruno-Fioretti-Marquez.

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  • Winkler, Klaus-Jürgen. Baulehre und Entwerfen am Bauhaus 1919–1933. Weimar, Germany: Bauhaus-Universität, 2003.

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    German. The only book-length study of architectural teaching and design approaches at the Bauhaus.

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Prehistories

This selection compiles studies of art, design, and architecture cultures in Wilhelmine Germany that are particularly relevant as prehistories to the establishment of the Bauhaus. Franciscono 1971 discusses the cultural issues that accompanied the collapse of German empire and the establishment of the Weimar Republic in relation to the founding of the Bauhaus. Campbell 1978 and Schwartz 1996 are monographs on the Werkbund, widely considered to be a philosophical precursor institution to the Bauhaus. Jeffries 1995 explores debates on the relationship between architecture and industrial production in Wilhelmine Germany. Maciuika 2005 considers the roots of the Bauhaus in professional design and craft cultures before 1920.

  • Campbell, Joan. The German Werkbund: The Politics of Reform in the Applied Arts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978.

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    An influential early study of reform movements in the applied arts in Germany, which led to the establishment of the Werkbund association of architects, craftsmen, and industrialists that prefigured the establishment of the Bauhaus.

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  • Franciscono, Marcel. Walter Gropius and the Creation of the Bauhaus in Weimar: The Ideals and Artistic Theories of Its Founding Years. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

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    A groundbreaking and still unsurpassed analysis of the cultural concerns and philosophical debates that accompanied the tumultuous period between the First World War and the establishment of the Weimar Republic, dissecting the motivations and aspirations of the Bauhaus during its founding years.

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  • Jeffries, Matthew. Politics and Culture in Wilhelmine Germany: The Case of Industrial Architecture. Oxford: Berg, 1995.

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    Addresses the politics of cultural debates in Wilhelmine Germany, particularly as these determined modern architectural priorities toward collaboration with industry.

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  • Maciuika, John V. Before the Bauhaus: Architecture, Politics and the German State, 1890–1920. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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    This study re-evaluates the political, architectural and artistic cultures of pre–First World War Germany, particularly focusing on the professional status of architects and craftsmen in relation to the history of German commerce and imperial expansion.

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  • Schwartz, Frederic J. The Werkbund: Design Theory and Mass Culture before the First World War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

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    A critical reevaluation of the Werkbund, in relation to theories of design, philosophies of mass culture, and the broader intellectual and cultural frameworks of German capitalist society.

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Legacies

The greater Bauhaus legacy is ultimately embodied in the Bauhaus diaspora: the far-flung work of former Bauhäuslers across the disciplines and around the world. Likewise, many institutions were inspired by Bauhaus pedagogy and attempted to recreate aspects of it in new contexts. Of the latter, three have attracted much scholarly attention: the New Bauhaus (subsequently Institute of Design) in Chicago, the Institute of Design in Ulm, and Black Mountain College in North Carolina. This selection prioritizes the institutional afterlives of the Bauhaus, supplemented with selected studies of individual legacies. Only secondary sources and historical surveys are included here. Kentgens-Craig 1999 addresses early contacts established by Bauhaus figures in the United States. Monographic histories of Ulm are offered in Lindinger 1991 and Spitz 2002. Engelbrecht 1987 and Findeli 1995 are focused studies of the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Harris 1987 and Duberman 2009 are definitive histories of Black Mountain College, while Molesworth 2015 is a richly researched and illustrated exhibition catalogue, and Diaz 2014 is an in-depth study of three influential teachers. Moynihan 1980 addresses the broader impact of the Bauhaus on art education in the United States. Barron and Eckmann 1997 highlights the careers of exiled German and Austrian artists more broadly, while Tupitsyn and Koltzsch 2000 focuses on the Bauhaus diaspora in the United States. Borchardt-Hume 2006 celebrates two members of that diaspora in particular: Josef Albers and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Bittner and Rohmberg 2013 traces the history and impact of a much lesser known milestone in the global dissemination of Bauhaus ideas: a 1922 exhibition in Calcutta, India.

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