BERLIN. Bauhaus Archive
Kris Ubach / agefotostock
Bauhaus—the German design, crafts, and architecture school founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius—is one of the most famous design movements of the 20th century, and this Berlin museum shows its impressive breadth and influence. Designed by Gropius himself and completed in 1979, the building holds a wealth of Bauhaus items such as furniture (lamps, chairs, tables), ceramics, photography, and theater pieces by an array of the movement’s most famous teachers and practitioners, including Gropius, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. (Note: The museum is temporarily located in the Charlottenburg district while the main building is being renovated and extended to pay tribute to the movement’s centennial.)
Form Equals Function
A design nerd like me had to visit this famous experimental arts and crafts school that flourished in the 1930s. The school has since been converted into a museum that displays modernist examples of art, graphic design, and furniture from the movement.
Touring the Bauhaus
As a fan of design, for me a trip to Germany would not be complete without a pilgrimage to the Bauhaus Archive. Located in Potsdammer Platz, the Archive and Museum is housed in a building designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. The collection demonstrates a wide range of art disciplines practiced at the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1930, including architecture, furniture, ceramics, photography, and metal works. And works by such artists as Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers, and Paul Klee, just to name a few. Seeing the collection as a whole, you get an impressive overview of the philosophies and aesthetics of the Bauhaus movement, of the focus of form following function. László Moholy-Nagy photograms were particularly spectacular. The recorded tour is recommended to experience additional insights about the history and background of specific pieces, as well as some of the movements and inspirations behind the Bauhaus designs. Note that it is closed on Tuesdays.