Love us? Share us! Help others find us when they search for furniture design history. Thanks.


Bauhaus 1919-1933

The Bauhaus influence is still present today. It is the most well know design school of modern times. It began in Weimar, Germany in 1919 and was only in operation for 14 years.

The school took over the building of the Weimar Academy of Fine Arts, and inherited some of the students and professors.

Henri van de Velde originally set up the academy. Van de Velde had put forward a list of names to be director before the war and Walter Gropius was selected.

When it opened it was originally craft orientated, with the students being taught the technical use of materials as well as artistically by fine artists, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

Gropius changed the direction of the school before it moved in 1925. He was moving away from the arts and crafts towards machines and technology.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy replaced Itten when he left. This change in direction saw articles being designed that were visible machine made using the latest technology, producing aesthetically pleasing products.

This started to create innovative product design.

Hostilities in the area, political and funding problems forced the Bauhaus to relocate to Dessau in 1925 where there was sufficient funding for new purpose built buildings.

In 1928 Gropius resigned as Director to concentrate on his Architectural Practice and was replaced by Hannes Meyer. This saw the Bauhaus thrive financially by producing inexpensive items designed for the mass population.

Meyer’s resignation was politically forced after only two years and his replacement was Mies van der Rohe. His emphasis was on architectural theories and began producing designs for the wealthy.

Due to political pressure, the Dessau Bauhaus was closed in 1932. It reopened in a disused factory in Berlin, a failed attempt to kept it running as the Nazi’s raided and closed it in 1933.

Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Moholy-Nagy and Breuer all moved to the USA.

For more information on the Bauhaus check out these books. They are great value and very comprehensive. They make for an excellent addition to a design book collection for your future reference and each purchase generates a small commission that helps keep free for you to use.

Members of the Bauhaus

Henri van de Velde

Walter Gropius

Johannes Itten

Paul Klee

Wassily Kandinsky

Adolf Meyer

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Georg Muche

Marcel Breuer

Hannes Meyer

Mies van der Rohe