Masters

The core of the Bauhaus idea was to educate and motivate a new young generation of competent and committed designers for the industrial modern age, so that they could take these ideas into the world after completing their education. When the Bauhaus was founded, Walter Gropius had no precedent on which to base his educational approach. The methodology therefore had to be developed, consistently reviewed and modified during the ongoing teaching activities. This meant that, for the long-term development and success of the Bauhaus, the choice of teachers was crucial from the start.

Walter Gropius successfully enlisted renowned avant-garde artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer and Johannes Itten as teachers (known as masters). Partly in order to cultivate the Bauhaus’s image, Gropius set store by the fact that these could continue and develop their artwork alongside their teaching activities. The positive inward and outward flow of creative potential was also an essential element, which embedded teaching in a creative atmosphere and motivated the young people at the Bauhaus.

Towards the end of the Weimar phase and with the school’s move to Dessau in 1925, the Bauhaus pressed ahead with its new orientation, complete with new content and staffing policy, based on a shift initiated by Gropius in 1923. The earlier focus on the visual arts now shifted to the applied arts and architecture. New teachers such as László Moholy-Nagy and Hannes Meyer brought fresh ideas with them.

However, the biggest change was the appointment of teachers such as the eminent Bauhaus graduates Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Gunta Stölzl, Joost Schmidt and Hinnerk Scheper as so-called junior masters and of Marianne Brandt as assistant head of the metal workshop in 1928. In doing so, for the very first time the Bauhaus ensured its own revival by exploiting the potentials which had developed and evolved in the school. The change of directors – from Walter Gropius to Hannes Meyer and finally to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – carried the evolution and continual reorientation of the Bauhaus forward.