Mention Bauhaus and people think of white, flat-roofed buildings with frameless doors and windows. Or they associate the name with tubular steel furniture and streamlined utilitarian objects made of metal and glass. Bauhaus became a style, a byword for modernism. But when the Staatliches Bauhaus institution opened 100 years ago on April 1, 1919 in Weimar, in central Germany, it was just another art school in a fairly provincial town.

The Bauhaus art school in Dessau. Photo © LianeM/Alamy Stock Photo

There was no real Bauhaus theory or philosophy. It only became a movement or a label after the National Socialists forced the school to close down in 1933. In the the following years many students and most teachers went into exile. It didn’t take long before Bauhaus buildings started popping up around the world: Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Canberra, Tokyo and many more places. Bauhaus was arguably the 20th century’s most influential school of art and design. One of its major achievements was its cross-disciplinary approach, which set an example for all art academies that followed in its slipstream. Music didn’t form part of the curriculum. However,...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now