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The centenary of the Bauhaus School’s founding in 1919 has been marked by a wide range of international events and publications. Much attention has been paid to the artists who taught at the school during its fourteen-year tenure in Germany. But the Bauhaus itself—in many ways greater than the sum of its individual teachers and students—was not simply an attempt to redefine artistic practice, but was both rooted in and responding to European design reform movements instigated in the nineteenth century. As Walter Gropius stated in the first Bauhaus manifesto: “Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between the craftsman and artist!”

This symposium engages with the history and legacy of the Bauhaus as a school of craft and design within the context of design reform during the modern period. How did the products designed at the Bauhaus relate to patterns of taste and consumption in Germany, and how did they perform in the marketplace? What vision of the built environment (what Gropius called “the great Gesamtkunstwerk”) did the Bauhäusler seek to fulfill—or to challenge? The Bauhaus was an extraordinary institution with far-reaching influence. Yet at the heart of its mission was the desire to engage with popular taste in architecture and design. We will consider the extent of its success.

Thursday, October 17, 6–7:30 pm, Keynote
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall
Register for the keynote here

Friday, October 18, 9:30 am–6 pm, Symposium

38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall
Register for the symposium here


Keynote Lecture

6-7:30 pm
Paul Betts
Oxford University
The Shock of the Old: Some Reflections on the Bauhaus at 100



9:30 am
Peter N. Miller
Bard Graduate Center

Paul Stirton
Bard Graduate Center
Freyja Hartzell
Bard Graduate Center

9:45 am
Freyja Hartzell
Bard Graduate Center
Art and Technology–A New Unity: Material Speculations at the Weimar Bauhaus

10:20 am
T’ai Smith
The University of British Columbia
Classroom Dynamics: Comparing the Activities of the Weaving Workshop and the Form Theory Courses

11 am
Coffee Break

11:20 am
Elizabeth Otto
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Designing Women of the Bauhaus

12 pm
Paul Stirton
Bard Graduate Center
Graphic Design at the Bauhaus

12:30 pm

1 pm
Lunch Break

2 pm
Karen Koehler
Amherst and Hampshire Colleges
“Historicism’s Bordello”: Walter Gropius Comes and Goes

2.40 pm
Dara Kiese
Pratt Institute
Bauhaus Anti-Style: Hannes Meyer’s Human-Centered Approach

3:20 pm
Coffee Break

3.40 pm
Jenni Sorkin
University of California, Santa Barbara
Weimar in the Woods: Marguerite Wildenhain’s Pond Farm

4:20 pm
Barry Bergdoll
Columbia University
The Bauhaus’s Legend-Making Exhibitions

5 pm

5:30 pm

BGCTV Logo BGCTV This event will be livestreamed. A link to the video will be posted to the event listing the day of the talk.