Walter Gropius and The Bauhaus

Walter Gropius was german architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture

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The Bauhaus school emerged out of late-19th-century desires to reunite the applied arts and manufacturing.  It was founded in 1919 in Weimar by architect Walter Gropius.

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Gropius called for the school to show a new respect for craft and technique in all artistic media, and suggested a return to attitudes to art and craft once characteristic of the medieval age, before art and manufacturing had drifted far apart. Gropius envisioned the Bauhaus encompassing the totality of all artistic media, including fine art, industrial design, graphic design, typography, interior design, and architecture.

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n 1925, the Bauhaus moved to the German industrial town of Dessau, initiating its most fruitful period. Walter Gropius designed a new building for the school, which has since come to be seen as a landmark of modern, functionalist architecture.But by 1928 Walter Gropius was worn down by his work, and by the increasing battles with the school’s critics, and he stood down, turning over the helm to Swiss architect Hannes Meyer.

The Bauhaus influence traveled along with its faculty. Walter Gropius went on to teach at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Mies van der Rohe became Director of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Josef Albers began to teach at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy formed what became the Institute of Design in Chicago, and Max Bill, a former Bauhaus student, opened the Institute of Design in Ulm. The latter three were all important in spreading the Bauhaus philosophy: Moholy-Nagy and Albers were particularly important in refashioning that philosophy into one suited to the climate of a modern research university in a market-oriented culture; Bill, meanwhile, played a significant role in spreading geometric abstraction throughout the world.

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