2009年3月26日 星期四

In London, Admiration for an Old Foe


In London, Admiration for an Old Foe

Steve Forrest for The New York Times

“Le Corbusier — The Art of Architecture” has drawn crowds to the Barbican Center in London, part of a complex designed in a Brutalist vein that Le Corbusier inspired. More Photos >

Published: March 25, 2009

LONDON — It’s odd to think that the Modernist architect Le Corbusier has had a bigger influence on housing in Britain than in any other European country.

Odd because he never designed a building here, and also because so many Britons have long held him in particular contempt. Since the 1970s he has been about as popular around here as the French national soccer team, and more than a few concrete, Corbu-style projects, large numbers of which were constructed after the war to ease a convalescing nation’s housing shortage, have since been torn down or fallen into disrepair.

But as Peter Rees, a longtime city planning officer in London, put it recently, about the whole range of such projects, “They were either blown up, or they’re now loved.”

Loved may be an exaggeration. But there is at least fresh debate about whether to preserve what used to be regarded simply as bad Corbu-derived architecture. Occasionally a cultural figure provides a little window into a nation’s shifting identity, and in Britain the self-regarding Swiss-born, Paris-based architectural genius who died in 1965, at 77, may now be one such figure.

An excellent traveling overview of his work, at the Barbican Center here, has turned out to be, of all things, popular. Big crowds have been visiting the gallery, itself a sign of some Corbu revisionism in that the Barbican, opened in 1982 near St. Paul’s Cathedral and designed by the British firm Chamberlin, Powell & Bon in a Brutalist vein that Le Corbusier partly inspired, has always been a place Londoners loved to hate. They voted it the city’s ugliest building in a poll in 2003, and have long moaned about its inscrutable labyrinth of concrete walkways and underpasses.

But Corinna Gardner, an assistant curator for the exhibition there, said that smart Londoners have actually been moving into the Barbican Estate and Golden Lane Estate, vast concrete apartment complexes that, with the Barbican Center, make up what Mr. Rees described as the largest Corbusian-inspired urban development in all of Europe. Likewise the refurbished Brunswick Center, near Russell Square, another Brutalist behemoth, with a ziggurat design, once an infamous example of failed council housing, has become fashionable. Well-heeled Londoners promenaded through its fancy shopping mall the other day.

Ms. Gardner added that “ladies who lunch” have even been turning up at the Le Corbusier show, when not long ago most wouldn’t have been caught dead at the Barbican. That hardly proves a national cultural volte-face, but just three years ago a survey of modern design at the Victoria and Albert Museum provoked an angry passel of letters in local newspapers, which singled out Le Corbusier for a special caning. His problem, it seems, wasn’t only that a generation or two of modern British architects latched onto his urban plans to devise their own concrete, modular apartment blocks, which often weren’t very good.

There was also something, well, un-British about him.

“We have always thought in terms of living in homes, not apartments, and we tend to be very traditional,” Ms. Gardner explained. At that moment she was standing before a model of Corbu’s proposal to demolish a swath of central Paris and replace it with a suite of concrete towers. Across the gallery was his plan, also never realized, to wreak similar havoc in Algiers.

Mr. Rees, contemplating those sweeping schemes in his office at Guildhall, elaborated. “Corbu said, ‘I am to be worshiped,’ which is very French, to see architects on a higher plane.” Mr. Rees spoke like a true Englishman, although he made clear that he is Welsh.

“Architects are seen here more as public servants rather than as gods,” he continued. “We value individuality in Britain and resist being told how to live. The Romans tried to plan London, but what they did was quickly undone. We’ve been added to by waves of immigrants, from the Normans and Vikings on, bringing with them different cultural ideas. We’re a mongrel people. More than 300 languages are spoken by children in London today, and if you live in London for three months, you’re a Londoner. You will never be a Parisian unless your grandparents were Parisians.”

I tried that chestnut about British individualism on Peter Mandler, a Cambridge historian. “It’s a self-regarding British myth that we’re special and that there is something foreign out there called the Continent; that we’re the land of liberty, and here the Englishman’s home is his castle, never mind that most people in Britain never lived in houses with their own gardens. By the ’60s more Britons lived in apartment blocks than anyone else in Europe.

“But there was during the 1920s and ’30s a visceral reaction here against Continental culture, and Paris was beginning to be seen not as a healthy rival but as something dangerous. It had to do with ‘othering’ the French who, unlike the British, the British liked to tell themselves, lived in bee hives. After the war this same attitude was predicated on nostalgia for Britain’s last moment of greatness, around 1940, and so the story had lingering cachet into the ’60s and ’70s. We’re not talking, in other words, about a timeless narrative but about a powerful one implicating Le Corbusier, which gained a purchase on British thinking during the high water mark of modernism.”

In truth, only about 7 percent of the British population today is black and Asian, much of that demographic in London. The benign melting pot myth itself goes back to imperial days.

But stories people tell themselves, whether true or not, can be as good as true to the people who tell them. Visiting Tate Britain after seeing the Corbu show one morning, I stopped into the “Van Dyck and Britain” exhibition, and noticed an oil sketch by Rubens and two Van Dyck portraits that the Tate had recently bought: pictures by foreigners who worked here, acquired by a museum for British art. Upstairs, in the permanent galleries, on loan from Andrew Lloyd Webber, there was also a view of London by Canaletto, hanging not far from a painting by Samuel Scott, an English artist and follower of Canaletto’s.

All of which is to say that the canon of British art seems to be expanding along with Britain’s view of itself, and maybe this helps to account for some small change in the climate around Le Corbusier. And of course then there is the simple matter of fair play, a British obsession.

“The problem with so many apartment developments built in the U.K.,” Mr. Rees said, “was that there was no taking into account the vital French ingredient of the concierge.” He didn’t literally mean French buildings all have concierges, obviously. He meant British housing wasn’t planned with long-term maintenance in mind, and Le Corbusier became a scapegoat for what resulted.

The show, a large and elegant affair, reminds us instead of the many beautiful buildings he designed and of his paintings. Like other groundbreaking figures, he wanted to be admired for something he didn’t actually do very well. He imagined Picasso and Mondrian to be his peers.

On the other hand, he left us the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, the modular housing project that became the model for countless bad imitations. It’s a remarkable building. An old black-and-white photograph of the roof, devised as a public square with parapets tall enough to block a view of the city and frame the mountains beyond, shows children playing in the sunshine.

On the barren concrete patio outside the Barbican it happened to be warm and springlike when I left the show.

Usually almost nobody’s out there. But what do you know?

That day there were children playing in the sunshine.

2009年3月18日 星期三

"Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden".


譬如說 台大校園 今年杜鵑花季
在約椰林大道上的大樹之腰幹上 再綑上數層的蘭花

我走到公館的台大醫院分部 大門前的草坪上
沒有雕塑品 只用一顆不顯眼的小石頭塑立
石頭當雕塑 是漢人想法 或許要其巧奪天工

請參觀 Wikipedia article "Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden".

第一次注意到有 Museums 文章之大分類
A Special Section: Museums
Wish You Were Here
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES Visitors to the Met photographing “The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer,” by Edgar Degas.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

2009年3月17日 星期二

La Liberté guidant le peuple

Liberty Leading the People

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Liberty Leading the People
(French: La Liberté guidant le peuple)
Eugène Delacroix, 1830
Oil on canvas
260 cm × 325 cm (102.4 in × 128.0 in)
Louvre, Paris

Liberty Leading the People (French: La Liberté guidant le peuple) is a painting by Eugène Delacroix commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled Charles X. A woman personifying Liberty leads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding the tricolore flag of the French Revolution in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. This is perhaps Delacroix's best-known painting, having carved its own niche in popular culture.



[edit] Painting

Delacroix painted his work in the autumn of 1830. In a letter to his brother dated 12 October, he wrote: "My bad mood is vanishing thanks to hard work. I’ve embarked on a modern subject—a barricade. And if I haven’t fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her." The painting was first exhibited at the official Salon of May 1831. Delacroix rejected the norms of Academicism in favor of Romanticism.

He depicted Liberty, personified by Marianne, symbol of the nation, as both an allegorical goddess-figure and a robust woman of the people, an approach that contemporary critics denounced as "ignoble". The mound of corpses acts as a kind of pedestal from which Liberty strides, barefoot and bare-breasted, out of the canvas and into the space of the viewer. The Phrygian cap she wears had come to symbolise liberty during the French Revolution of 1789.

自由引導人民》(La Liberté guidant le peuple)是法國浪漫主義畫家德拉克洛瓦記念1830年法國七月革命的作品。



The fighters are from a mixture of social classes, ranging from the upper classes represented by the young man in a top hat, to the revolutionary middle class or (bourgeoisie), as exemplified by the boy holding pistols (who may have been the inspiration for the character Gavroche in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables).[1] What they have in common is the fierceness and determination in their eyes. Aside from the flag held by Liberty, a second, minute tricolore can be discerned in the distance flying from the towers of Notre Dame.

The identity of the man in the top hat has been widely debated. The suggestion that it was a self-portrait by Delacroix has been discounted by modern art historians.[2] In the late 19th century, it was suggested the model was the theatre director Etienne Arago; others have suggested the future curator of the Louvre, Frédéric Villot;[1] but there is no firm consensus on this point.

[edit] Usage

The French government bought the painting in 1831 for 3,000 francs with the intention of displaying it in the throne room of the Palais du Luxembourg as a reminder to the "citizen-king" Louis-Philippe of the July Revolution, through which he had come to power. This plan did not come to fruition and the canvas was hung in the Palace museum for a few months before being taken down for its inflammatory political message. Delacroix was permitted to send the painting to his aunt Félicité for safekeeping. It was exhibited briefly in 1848 and then in the Salon of 1855. In 1874, the painting entered the Louvre.

[edit] Legacy

It inspired the Statue of Liberty in New York City, which had been given to the US as a gift from the French only 50 years after "Liberty Leading the People" had been painted. The statue, which holds a torch in its hand, takes a similar stance to the woman in the painting.

An engraved version of this painting, along with a depiction of Delacroix himself, was featured on the 100-franc note in the early 1990s.

The painting is frequently reproduced or reinterpreted in popular culture, and has recently been featured on the front cover of Eric Hobsbawm's Age of Revolution, and in the artwork for Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends by the British group Coldplay. The painting has had an influence on classical music as well; George Antheil titled his Symphony No. 6 After Delacroix, and stated that the work was inspired by his viewing of a copy of Liberty Leading the People [3]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Pool 1969, p.33.
  2. ^ Toussaint, Hélene, (1982). La Liberté guidant le peuple de Delacroix. Paris: Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux
  3. ^ http://www.classical.net/~music/recs/reviews/c/cpo99604a.php

The seminude woman in the middle of the painting represents Liberty and the Republic, who the French calls Marianne. A woman was chosen to present the Republic, because it "symbolizes the breaking the Ancien Régime headed by men". And Republic in French is a feminine noun (la République).

In the painting, the breasts of Marianne are exposed. Firstly, Delacroix tried to "remind us that democracy was born in Ancient Greece by his reference to Nike and his use of partial nudity". Secondly, "during France's first revolution, the one that began in 1789, political cartoonists often symbolized the newly created democratic state as an infant suckled by freedom/Marianne, its mother."

See: http://smarthistory.org/romanticism-in-france.html

民衆を導く自由の女神(みんしゅうをみちびくじゆうのめがみ、原題 La Liberté guidant le peuple, 259×325cm, キャンバス油絵ルーヴル美術館収蔵)は、ウジェーヌ・ドラクロワによって描かれた絵画フランス7月革命を主題とする。日本では慣習的に民衆を導く自由の女神と題されることが多いが、原題はLa Liberté guidant le peupleであり、正確には「民衆を導く<自由>」(自由Libertéアレゴリー)である。このためこの絵画を《民衆を導く<自由>》として紹介する文献も存在する。

絵の中心に描かれている民衆を導く果敢な女性は、フランスシンボルである、マリアンヌの代表的な例の1つである。原題のLa Liberté guidant le peupleから分かるように、女性は自由を、乳房は母性すなわち祖国を、という具合に、ドラクロワはこの絵を様々な理念を比喩(アレゴリー)で表現している。一方で彼女がかぶるフリギア帽は、フランス革命の間に自由を象徴するようになった。女性の隣に立つ、マスケット銃を手にしたシルクハットの男性はドラクロワ自身であると説明される事が多い。あまりにも政治的で、扇動的であるという理由から、1848年革命まで恒常的な展示は行われなかったという歴史を持つ。





2009年3月9日 星期一

Carefree Contrast in the Dreamscapes of a Poet

Dance Review | Paul Taylor Dance Company

Carefree Contrast in the Dreamscapes of a Poet

Matthew Murphy for The New York Times
At City Center: members of the troupe in “Arden Court.”

Published: March 9, 2009

When the lights go down at the end of the first movement of Paul Taylor’s “Esplanade” (1975) or “Mercuric Tidings” (1982) in the Taylor company’s current City Center season, the audience bursts into the kind of applause you usually hear only as a dance ends. Quite right, too: those movements are ebullient, complete experiences, rich in variety.
Skip to next paragraph


Times Topics: Paul Taylor Dance Company

Ruby Washington/The New York Times
Michael Trusnovec and Julie Tice in Paul Taylor’s “Scudorama” at City Center.

Matthew Murphy for The New York Times
Annmaria Mazzini performing her exuberant solo in “Esplanade.”

But then in both pieces the lights go up a moment later on a slow movement that shows some kind of poignancy. At once we know the world onstage has changed, deepened, grown darker and larger. Now we realize that we have far to go before we reach completion. In these two works and in so many others, Mr. Taylor’s is the art of drastic contrasts: of sun and shade, of heroes and insects, of rush and reflectiveness.
And that art is often at its most phenomenal in that “but also” moment of transition. At the end of “Arden Court” (1981), James Samson — who, like other men, has been leaping high — is the last to leave the stage. He jumps, jumps, jumps in quick succession, and then, without skipping a beat, rolls, rolls, rolls; and that’s how it ends.
That switch from high to low, so seamlessly accomplished, is a Taylor characteristic. Mr. Samson does it — so do other Taylor dancers throughout the repertory — as if it were the most natural thing in the world, but most of us watch it with some kind of gasp. Who expects dancers to fall over?
In the final movement of “Esplanade,” one performer after another runs across the stage, takes a flying leap, looks suddenly back over his or her shoulder, and then crashes to the floor. This is breathtaking in a big way, but it keeps happening, and Annmaria Mazzini has a whole solo made of these staggeringly carefree self-contradictions conducted at a pitch of glorious exuberance.
All these works are old friends; their pleasure doesn’t pall. This season the slow movements of “Esplanade” seem to have had a particularly fresh lick of paint. The episode when the tall, beautiful Laura Halzack sits on the floor and seems to contract in sobs hit me (and other more experienced Taylor followers) as never before.
Likewise, the moment when first Eran Bugge and later other women sit and plunge their hands between their legs in what looks like self-lacerating grief: was this always there? It must have been. “Esplanade,” whose spontaneous joy creates so powerful an impression, has always contained sorrow. And if you examined and described all its fleeting human incidents, you’d have enough material to furnish a novel with multiple plots.
But Mr. Taylor’s imagination works less like a novelist’s than like a poet’s. Some of his works are dreamscape dramas composed in extraordinarily free verse. One such is “Scudorama” (1963), which hadn’t been seen onstage for decades until the current revival, which I caught in St. Louis in November and which arrived in New York on Friday: even most Taylor devotees haven’t seen it before.
Its set and costumes are by Alex Katz. The backdrop looks like a shoal of thunderclouds. The costumes cover a whole range of crazy possibilities, not least those of three women in black tights and white ruffs that make them look half like Puritan Sisters (but only half). Blankets and rugs are used; dancers are dragged across the stage on them or secreted under them.
The score, specially created by Clarence Jackson, includes overt references to composers from Stravinsky to Gershwin, as well as the loud blowing of a whistle. The recording being used for the current season, which I assume was made at a live performance in the 1960s, contains a loud cough that somehow seems all part of the fabric.
And neither the music nor the design is as wild as the choreography. Spasms pass through most of the dancers at various points, but so do sequences of strict control. At one moment two of the Puritan Sisters start to wind the third down, round, up and about, as if she were part of a machine. Ms. Halzack (dressed in scarlet tights), her torso bent low, grips her lower thighs with her splayed hands and slowly extends one leg up to the side. (This step recurs verbatim in Merce Cunningham’s very dissimilar 1968 “RainForest” — were both choreographers quoting their alma mater, Martha Graham?) Later the three Puritans do it briskly.
I have seen this work twice now, and am still happily befogged by it. We don’t know whose dream this is or why it covers such a plethora of nightmare chaos. Ms. Halzack and Sean Mahoney are superb in leading roles; Michael Trusnovec (in jacket and tie) and the other performers are all excellent. I think Mr. Taylor went on to give us dreams whose imagination now hits harder, but there is a frenzy here that releases something in these dancers. (Julie Tice, who is having a good season generally, here moves her torso with a weightiness I haven’t seen before.)
One of those greater, later nightmares is “Last Look” (1985), another Taylor collaboration with Mr. Katz. What kind of hell is this? The dancers all start in — and return to — a single pile, but the women are wearing bright kimonos, and the men green jumpsuits that speak of glamour. Mirrors define the space, but on the few occasions that these characters look at their reflections, they’re likely to recoil or to peer in alarm. Donald York’s commissioned score quotes from Ravel’s “Valse” and other works.
A duet for Mr. Trusnovec and Amy Young suggests that each is furtively masturbating. Both look wracked by desire and shame. At one point she lies down and parts her legs invitingly; his immediate reaction is to stamp between her legs in a gesture of rejection. The whole work is steeped in the misery of self-loathing. There is not one movement that should be labeled a formal dance step; that’s true of “Esplanade” too, but there it’s part of the dancers’ naturalness, whereas here everyone seems stunted.
Not all Taylor revivals look so strong. Why has “Promethean Fire,” a knockout until last year, lost its edge? (Not just because Lisa Viola’s reckless nerve is missed in the central duet; the ensembles no longer thrill.) Why is “The Sorcerer’s Sofa” being revived at all? The question of whether this or “Oz” is the silliest and feeblest piece Mr. Taylor has ever made is not one I like to answer. And yet the vitality of (and difference between) Mr. Taylor’s latest two, “Changes” and “Beloved Renegade,” means that this Taylor season is not just about golden oldies. The new works are not outshone.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company performs through Sunday at City Center, 131 West 55th Street, Manhattan; nycitycenter.org.

2009年3月8日 星期日


Of, relating to, or characteristic of a 20th-century school of design, the aesthetic of which was influenced by and derived from techniques and materials employed especially in industrial fabrication and manufacture.
[German, an architecture school founded by Walter Gropius : Bau, construction, architecture (from Middle High German , building, from Old High German, from būan, to dwell, settle) + Haus, house (from Middle High German hūs, from Old High German).]

Typography by Herbert Bayer above the entrance to the workshop block of the Bauhaus, Dessau, 2005.
Bauhaus ("House of Building" or "Building School") is the common term for the Staatliches Bauhaus , a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933.
The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department during the first years of its existence. The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.[1] The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.
The school existed in three German cities (Weimar from 1919 to 1925, Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and Berlin from 1932 to 1933), under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1927, Hannes Meyer from 1927 to 1930 and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 to 1933, when the school was closed by the Nazi regime.
The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. When the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, for instance, although it had been an important revenue source, the pottery shop was discontinued. When Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, he transformed it into a private school, and would not allow any supporters of Hannes Meyer to attend it.



Bauhaus and German modernism

For more details on this topic, see New Objectivity (architecture).

The Bauhaus
Defeat in World War I, the fall of the German monarchy and the abolition of censorship under the new, liberal Weimar Republic allowed an upsurge of radical experimentation in all the arts, previously suppressed by the old regime. Many Germans of left-wing views were influenced by the cultural experimentation that followed the Russian Revolution, such as constructivism. Such influences can be overstated: Gropius himself did not share these radical views, and said that Bauhaus was entirely apolitical.[2] Just as important was the influence of the 19th century English designer William Morris, who had argued that art should meet the needs of society and that there should be no distinction between form and function.[3]. Thus the Bauhaus style, also known as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornamentation and by harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design.
However, the most important influence on Bauhaus was modernism, a cultural movement whose origins lay as far back as the 1880s, and which had already made its presence felt in Germany before the World War, despite the prevailing conservatism. The design innovations commonly associated with Gropius and the Bauhaus - the radically simplified forms, the rationality and functionality, and the idea that mass-production was reconcilable with the individual artistic spirit - were already partly developed in Germany before the Bauhaus was founded. The German national designers' organization Deutscher Werkbund was formed in 1907 by Hermann Muthesius to harness the new potentials of mass production, with a mind towards preserving Germany's economic competitiveness with England. In its first seven years, the Werkbund came to be regarded as the authoritative body on questions of design in Germany, and was copied in other countries. Many fundamental questions of craftsmanship vs. mass production, the relationship of usefulness and beauty, the practical purpose of formal beauty in a commonplace object, and whether or not a single proper form could exist, were argued out among its 1870 members (by 1914).
The entire movement of German architectural modernism was known as Neues Bauen. Beginning in June 1907, Peter Behrens' pioneering industrial design work for the German electrical company AEG successfully integrated art and mass production on a large scale. He designed consumer products, standardized parts, created clean-lined designs for the company's graphics, developed a consistent corporate identity, built the modernist landmark AEG Turbine Factory, and made full use of newly developed materials such as poured concrete and exposed steel. Behrens was a founding member of the Werkbund, and both Walter Gropius and Adolf Meier worked for him in this period.
The Bauhaus was founded at a time when the German zeitgeist ("spirit of the times") had turned from emotional Expressionism to the matter-of-fact New Objectivity. An entire group of working architects, including Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut and Hans Poelzig, turned away from fanciful experimentation, and turned toward rational, functional, sometimes standardized building. Beyond the Bauhaus, many other significant German-speaking architects in the 1920s responded to the same aesthetic issues and material possibilities as the school. They also responded to the promise of a "minimal dwelling" written into the new Weimar Constitution. Ernst May, Bruno Taut, and Martin Wagner, among others, built large housing blocks in Frankfurt and Berlin. The acceptance of modernist design into everyday life was the subject of publicity campaigns, well-attended public exhibitions like the Weissenhof Estate, films, and sometimes fierce public debate.

Bauhaus and Vkhutemas

Main article: Vkhutemas
Vkhutemas, the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow, has been compared to Bauhaus. Founded a year after the Bauhaus school Vkhutemas has close parallels to the German Bauhaus in its intent, organization and scope. The two schools were the first to train artist-designers in a modern manner.[4] Both schools were state-sponsored initiatives to merge the craft tradition with modern technology, with a Basic Course in aesthetic principles, courses in color theory, industrial design, and architecture.[4] Vkhutemas was a larger school than the Bauhaus,[5] but it was less publicised and consequently, is less familiar to the West.[6]
With the internationalism of modern architecture and design, there were many exchanges between the Vkhutemas and the Bauhaus.[7] The second Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer attempted to organise an exchange between the two schools, while Hinnerk Scheper of the Bauhaus collaborated with various Vkhutein members on the use of colour in architecture. In addition, El Lissitzky's book Russia - an Architecture for World Revolution published in German in 1930 featured several illustrations of Vkhutemas/Vkhutein projects.

History of the Bauhaus

Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bauhaus Dessau Workshop
State Party Germany
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, vi
Reference 729
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1996 (20th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.


The school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 as a merger of the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts and the Weimar Academy of Fine Art. Its roots lay in the arts and crafts school founded by the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in 1906 and directed by Belgian Art Nouveau architect Henry van de Velde.[8] When van de Velde was forced to resign in 1915 because he was Belgian, he suggested Gropius, Hermann Obrist and August Endell as possible successors. In 1919, after delays caused by the destruction of World War I and a lengthy debate over the ideological and socio-economic reconciliation of the fine arts and the applied arts (an issue which remained a defining one throughout the school's existence), Gropius was made the director of a new institution integrating the two called the Bauhaus.[9] In the pamphlet for an April 1919 exhibition entitled "Exhibition of Unknown Architects", Gropius proclaimed his goal as being "to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist." The early intention was for the Bauhaus to be a combined architecture school, crafts school, and academy of the arts. In 1919 Swiss painter Johannes Itten, German-American painter Lyonel Feininger, and German sculptor Gerhard Marcks, along with Gropius, comprised the faculty of the Bauhaus. By the following year their ranks had grown to include German painter, sculptor and designer Oskar Schlemmer and Swiss painter Paul Klee, joined in 1922 by Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. A tumultuous year at the Bauhaus, 1922 also saw the move of Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg to Weimar to promote De Stijl ("The Style"), and a visit to the Bauhaus by Russian Constructivist artist and architect El Lissitzky [10]
From 1919 to 1922 the school was shaped by the pedagogical and aesthetic ideas of Johannes Itten, who taught the Vorkurs or 'preliminary course' that was the introduction to the ideas of the Bauhaus.[11] Itten was heavily influenced in his teaching by the ideas of Franz Cižek and Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel an in respect to aesthetics by the work of the Blaue Reiter group in Munich as well as the work of Austrian Expressionist Oskar Kokoschka. The influence of German Expressionism favoured by Itten was analogous in some ways to the fine arts side of the ongoing debate. This influence culminated with the addition of Der Blaue Reiter founding member Wassily Kandinsky to the faculty and ended when Itten resigned in late 1922. Itten was replaced by the Hungarian designer László Moholy-Nagy, who rewrote the Vorkurs with a leaning towards the New Objectivity favored by Gropius, which was analogous in some ways to the applied arts side of the debate. Although this shift was an important one, it did not represent a radical break from the past so much as a small step in a broader, more gradual socio-econimic movement that had been going on at least since 1907 when van de Velde had argued for a craft basis for design while Hermann Muthesius had begun implementing industrial prototypes.[12]
Gropius was not necessarily against Expressionism, and in fact himself in the same 1919 pamphlet proclaiming this "new guild of craftsmen, with out the class snobbery," described "painting and sculpture rising to heaven out of the hands of a million craftsmen, the crystal symbol of the new faith of the future." By 1923 however, Gropius was no longer evoking images of soaring Romanesque cathedrals and the craft-driven aesthetic of the "Völkisch movement," instead declaring "we want an architecture adapted to our world of machines, radios and fast cars."[13] Gropius argued that a new period of history had begun with the end of the war. He wanted to create a new architectural style to reflect this new era. His style in architecture and consumer goods was to be functional, cheap and consistent with mass production. To these ends, Gropius wanted to reunite art and craft to arrive at high-end functional products with artistic pretensions. The Bauhaus issued a magazine called Bauhaus and a series of books called "Bauhausbücher". Since the country lacked the quantity of raw materials that the United States and Great Britain had, they had to rely on the proficiency of its skilled labor force and ability to export innovative and high quality goods. Therefore designers were needed and so was a new type of art education. The school’s philosophy stated that the artist should be trained to work with the industry.
Weimar was in the German state of Thuringia, and the Bauhaus school received state support from the Social Democrat-controlled Thuringian state government. In February 1924, the Social Democrats lost control of the state parliament to the Nationalists. The Ministry of Education placed the staff on six-month contracts and cut the school's funding in half. They had already been looking for alternative sources of funding. Together with the Council of Masters Gropius announced the closure of the Bauhaus from the end of March 1925. After the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, a school of industrial design with teachers and staff less antagonistic to the conservative political regime remained in Weimar. This school was eventually known as the Technical University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and in 1996 changed its name to Bauhaus University Weimar.


Gropius's design for the Dessau facilities was a return to the futuristic Gropius of 1914 that had more in common with the International style lines of the Fagus Factory than the stripped down Neo-classical of the Werkbund pavilion or the Völkisch Sommerfeld House.[14] The Dessau years saw a remarkable change in direction for the school. According to Elaine Hoffman, Gropius had approached the Dutch architect Mart Stam to run the newly-founded architecture program, and when Stam declined the position, Gropius turned to Stam's friend and colleague in the ABC group, Hannes Meyer.
Meyer became director when Gropius resigned in February 1928, and brought the Bauhaus its two most significant building commissions, both of which still exist: five apartment buildings in the city of Dessau, and the headquarters of the Federal School of the German Trade Unions (ADGB) in Bernau. Meyer favored measurements and calculations in his presentations to clients, along with the use of off-the-shelf architectural components to reduce costs, and this approach proved attractive to potential clients. The school turned its first profit under his leadership in 1929.
But Meyer also generated a great deal of conflict. As a radical functionalist, he had no patience with the aesthetic program, and forced the resignations of Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, and other long-time instructors. As a vocal Communist, he encouraged the formation of a communist student organization. In the increasingly dangerous political atmosphere, this became a threat to the existence of the Dessau school. Meyer was also compromised by a sexual scandal involving one of his students, and Gropius fired him in 1930.


Although neither the Nazi Party nor Hitler himself had a cohesive architectural policy before they came to power in 1933, Nazi writers like Wilhelm Frick and Alfred Rosenberg had already labeled the Bauhaus "un-German" and criticized its modernist styles, deliberately generating public controversy over issues like flat roofs. Increasingly through the early 1930s, they characterized the Bauhaus as a front for communists and social liberals. Indeed, a number of communist students loyal to Meyer moved to the Soviet Union when he was fired in 1930.
Even before the Nazis came to power, political pressure on Bauhaus had increased. But the Nazi regime was determined to crack down on what it saw as the foreign, probably Jewish influences of "cosmopolitan modernism." Despite Gropius's protestations that as a war veteran and a patriot his work had no subversive political intent, the Berlin Bauhaus was closed in April 1933. Mies van der Rohe was expelled from Germany. (The closure, and the response of Mies van der Rohe, is fully documented in Elaine Hochman's Architects of Fortune.) Curiously, however, some Bauhaus influences lived on in Nazi Germany. When Hitler's chief engineer, Fritz Todt, began opening the new autobahn (highways) in 1935, many of the bridges and service stations were "bold examples of modernism" - among those submitting designs was Mies van der Rohe.[15]

Architectural output

Bauhaus building in Chemnitz
The paradox of the early Bauhaus was that, although its manifesto proclaimed that the ultimate aim of all creative activity was building, the school did not offer classes in architecture until 1927. The single most profitable tangible product of the Bauhaus was its wallpaper.
During the years under Gropius (1919–1927), he and his partner Adolf Meyer observed no real distinction between the output of his architectural office and the school. So the built output of Bauhaus architecture in these years is the output of Gropius: the Sommerfeld house in Berlin, the Otte house in Berlin, the Auerbach house in Jena, and the competition design for the Chicago Tribune Tower, which brought the school much attention. The definitive 1926 Bauhaus building in Dessau is also attributed to Gropius. Apart from contributions to the 1923 Haus am Horn, student architectural work amounted to un-built projects, interior finishes, and craft work like cabinets, chairs and pottery.
In the next two years under Meyer, the architectural focus shifted away from aesthetics and towards functionality. There were major commissions: one by the city of Dessau for five tightly designed "Laubenganghäuser" (apartment buildings with balcony access), which are still in use today, and another for the headquarters of the Federal School of the German Trade Unions (ADGB) in Bernau bei Berlin. Meyer's approach was to research users' needs and scientifically develop the design solution.
Mies van der Rohe repudiated Meyer's politics, his supporters, and his architectural approach. As opposed to Gropius's "study of essentials", and Meyer's research into user requirements, Mies advocated a "spatial implementation of intellectual decisions", which effectively meant an adoption of his own aesthetics. Neither van der Rohe nor his Bauhaus students saw any projects built during the 1930s.
The popular conception of the Bauhaus as the source of extensive Weimar-era working housing is not accurate. Two projects, the apartment building project in Dessau and the Törten row housing also in Dessau, fall in that category, but developing worker housing was not the first priority of Gropius nor Mies. It was the Bauhaus contemporaries Bruno Taut, Hans Poelzig and particularly Ernst May, as the city architects of Berlin, Dresden and Frankfurt respectively, who are rightfully credited with the thousands of socially progressive housing units built in Weimar Germany. In Taut's case, the housing may still be seen in south-west Berlin, is still occupied, and can be reached by going easily from the U-Bahn stop Onkel Toms Hütte.


The Engel House in the White City of Tel Aviv. Architect: Zeev Rechter, 1933. A residential building that has become one of the symbols of Modernist architecture. The first building in Tel Aviv to be built on pilotis.
The Bauhaus had a major impact on art and architecture trends in Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Israel (particularly in White City, Tel Aviv) in the decades following its demise, as many of the artists involved fled, or were exiled, by the Nazi regime. Tel Aviv, in fact, has been named to the list of world heritage sites by the UN due to its abundance of Bauhaus architecture[16][17]; it had some 4000 Bauhaus buildings erected from 1933 on.
Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and László Moholy-Nagy re-assembled in Britain during the mid 1930s to live and work in the Isokon project before the war caught up with them. Both Gropius and Breuer went to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and worked together before their professional split. The Harvard School was enormously influential in America in the late 1920s and early 1930s, producing such students as Philip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Lawrence Halprin and Paul Rudolph, among many others.
In the late 1930s, Mies van der Rohe re-settled in Chicago, enjoyed the sponsorship of the influential Philip Johnson, and became one of the pre-eminent architects in the world. Moholy-Nagy also went to Chicago and founded the New Bauhaus school under the sponsorship of industrialist and philanthropist Walter Paepcke. This school became the Institute of Design, part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Printmaker and painter Werner Drewes was also largely responsible for bringing the Bauhaus aesthetic to America and taught at both Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis. Herbert Bayer, sponsored by Paepcke, moved to Aspen, Colorado in support of Paepcke's Aspen projects at the Aspen Institute. In 1953, Max Bill, together with Inge Aicher-Scholl and Otl Aicher, founded the Ulm School of Design|Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany (HfG Ulm), a design school in the tradition of the Bauhaus. The school is notable for its inclusion of semiotics as a field of study. The school closed in 1968, but the ′Ulm Model′ concept continues to influence international design education.[18]
One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology. The machine was considered a positive element, and therefore industrial and product design were important components. Vorkurs ("initial" or "preliminary course") was taught; this is the modern day "Basic Design" course that has become one of the key foundational courses offered in architectural and design schools across the globe. There was no teaching of history in the school because everything was supposed to be designed and created according to first principles rather than by following precedent.
One of the most important contributions of the Bauhaus is in the field of modern furniture design. The ubiquitous Cantilever chair by Dutch designer Mart Stam, using the tensile properties of steel, and the Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer are two examples.
The physical plant at Dessau survived World War II and was operated as a design school with some architectural facilities by the German Democratic Republic. This included live stage productions in the Bauhaus theater under the name of Bauhausbühne ("Bauhaus Stage"). After German reunification, a reorganized school continued in the same building, with no essential continuity with the Bauhaus under Gropius in the early 1920s[19]. In 1979 Bauhaus-Dessau College started to organize postgraduate programs with participants from all over the world. This effort has been supported by the Bauhaus-Dessau Foundation which was founded in 1974 as a public institution.
American art schools have also rediscovered the Bauhaus school. The Master Craftsman Program at Florida State University bases its artistic philosophy on Bauhaus theory and practice.


包浩斯90年 全球推紀念展
包浩斯(Bauhaus)是德國國立包浩斯學校的通稱。它是一所前衛藝術暨建築學校,講授並發展設計教育,1919年由建築師華特‧葛羅佩斯(Walter Gropius,1883年─1969年)創於德國威瑪,熱潮持續至1933年。
沮喪抑鬱的時代,世人總渴望靈光乍現所迸發的迷人力量。葛羅佩斯當年認為,一次大戰後的慘況是「人類歷史大災難」。為力挽狂瀾,大膽創辦具烏托邦色彩,卻 兼顧實用的包浩斯學校,締造文化奇蹟,影響延續至今。1996年,聯合國教科文組織將威瑪的包浩斯風格建築物列為世界文化遺產。葛羅佩斯當時年僅35歲, 決定拋開傳統,卻又以絕對傳統的方式,試著扛起社會責任。1919年3月10日,他申請在威瑪設校,4月12日獲准。同時他撰寫了視野廣闊的宣言,宣告全 面顛覆美學,也就是真正的革命。