The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism by Nicholas Fox Weber - review by Daniel Snowman

Daniel Snowman

Design of the Times

The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism


Yale University Press 521pp £18 order from our bookshop

The Bauhaus Group focuses on the lives of six people who, we are told, ‘were geniuses for all time’ and who ‘created and lived out a dream that was never equalled before or since’. Nicholas Fox Weber, longtime director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, is nothing if not an enthusiast for his subject. The six geniuses are the architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (the first and last directors of the Bauhaus), the painters Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, and the Alberses. En passant, we also encounter other important figures for whom the author has less regard. There are colour plates of some of the artworks, black-and-white reproductions of others, and – most strikingly – informal snapshots of (and often by) the leading figures.

The Bauhaus, a German college of art, architecture, industrial design and engineering, was virtually coeval with the Weimar Republic, lasting from 1919 until its disbandment in 1933. Gropius and his colleagues aspired to link art and technology. Why not design chairs and light fittings (indeed, entire housing estates)

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