The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

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Central European University Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Art - 237 pages
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In this highly original book. Hungarian art historian Eva Forgacs examines the development of the Bauhaus school of architecture and applied design by focusing on the idea of the Bauhaus, rather than on its artefacts. What gave this idea its extraordinary powers of survival? Founded in 1919, with the architect Walter Gropius as its first director, the Bauhaus carried within it the seeds of conflict from the start. The duration of the Bauhaus coincides very nearly with that of the Weimar Republic; the Bauhaus idea - the notion that the artist should be involved in the technological innovations of mechanization and mass production - is a concept that was bound to arouse the most passionate feelings. It is these two strands - personal and political - that Forgacs so cleverly interweaves. The text has been extensively revised since its original publication in Hungarian, and an entirely new chapter has been added on the Bauhaus's Russian analogue, VkhUTEMAS, the Moscow academy of industrial art.

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Page 27 - profession'. There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, moments beyond the control of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies a source of creative imagination.
Page 27 - Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as "salon art.
Page 27 - Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist I Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise towards heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith.
Page 6 - Werkbund with the stated purpose of "selecting the best representatives of art, industry, crafts, and trades; of combining all efforts towards high quality in industrial work, and of forming a rallying point for all those who are able and willing to work for high quality.

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