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The history of the Bauhaus-Universität goes back to 1860 when Grand Duke Carl Alexander (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach) founded the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School. Although it became a public institution in 1902, its ties with the ducal house remained strong for years.

Students were instructed in a variety of artistic subjects, including landscape, historical, portrait and animal painting, and sculpting.

In 1905 the Art School merged with the Weimar Sculpture School, which, although integrated into the educational system in a “cooperative relationship between high and applied art”, was independently managed. The school was raised to college status in 1910 and was renamed the Grand Ducal Saxon College of Fine Arts. The development of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar was also strongly influenced by the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts which trained artisans in the handicrafts between 1907 and 1915.

In 1919 Walter Gropius (1883-1969) merged the College of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts into the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. It was the making of a new type of art school, a pioneer of modernity, the legacy of which continues to influence the Bauhaus-University Weimar today. In 1923 Gropius summarized his vision with the radical formula “Art and Technology – A New Unity.” His “concept of collaboration with the industry” was strongly opposed, not least of all because he was “determined from the very start to beat down any resistance toward this new kind of architecturally related art.”

The increasing equalization of professors and workshop instructors and unbridgeable differences made it impossible “for art to develop freely, without purpose and with no connection to architecture at the Bauhaus.” As a result, the State College of Fine Arts was founded in 1921, an institution at which academically traditional masters could work and teach, such as Richard Engelmann, Max Thedy, Walther Klemm, Alexander Olbricht and Hugo Gugg (Hedwig Holtz-Sommer’s instructor). The Bauhaus only remained in Weimar until spring 1925 when it was forced to relocate to Dessau for political reasons. There the Bauhaus began a new, important chapter as a college of art and design.

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College of Fine Arts.

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College of Fine Arts.

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College of Fine Arts.

College of Fine Arts.

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College of Fine Arts.

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College of Fine Arts.

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College of Fine Arts.

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