The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics
Author: 
ISBN: 
978-1-85866-012-7
paperback
$24.95 / €20.00 / £18.00
Publication date: 
1995
248 pages, 10 illustrations

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.

List of illustrations
Picture credits
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Chapter 1. The Beauty of Progress
Chapter 2. Time out of Joint
Chapter 3. 'We Shall Draw Grand Designs
Chapter 4. First Steps
Chapter 5. Weimar
Chapter 6. Breathing Exercises
Chapter 7. Time

'PEOPLE CRITICIZE THE CAUSE THEY ESPOUSE' THE VAN DOESBURG EPISODE
Chapter 8. New Faces
Chapter 9. If We Intend to Survive
Chapter 10. The New Unity
Chapter 11. Man at the Control Panel
Chapter 12. The Part Versus the Whole
Chapter 13. Why did Gropius Leave?
Chapter 14. Hannes Meyer
Chapter 15. Parallel Fates? Weimar, Dessau and Moscow
Chapter 16. Endgame
Epilogue: Liberalism's Utopia

Bibliography

I BAUHAUS PUBLICATIONS
Bauhaus Books Series
II PRIMARY SOURCES
III SECONDARY SOURCES
Index
"Drawing heavily on the large number of exceptionally strong monographs and published document collections, as well as Bauhaus archives, Forgacs retells the story with considerable verve, focusing on personalities and ideas, not on the objects or buildings produced... What is noteworthy is the centrality in Forgacs's tale of 'spirit of the age' as the driving force and determining factor in events. Defining 'the polarization of artistic individuality versus the increasing depersonalization of mass production' as one of the fundamental conflicts of our age, Forgacs argues frequently and flamboyantly that the spirit of the age-embodied in tides, waves, currents-shaped the outcome of conflicts."
"In this thought-provoking work, the author brings to bear the understanding of the postmodern era and an Eastern European perspective."