The History of the Bauhaus

  • From foundation, the Bauhaus saw itself as a part of the modern movement and as its mediator. Created from the migration of artists and ideas, it developed in constant interaction with various groups of architects, urban planners, artists, scientists and designers. The constitutive ideas of the Bauhaus come from the Arts and Crafts Movement of the prewar period, especially the progressive education movement and the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) that unites all of the arts as well as aesthetic education in all areas of life as represented by the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) and Art Nouveau.


  • Walter Gropius formulates the goal of the Bauhaus programme as follows: “The Bauhaus strives to combine (...) all the arts – sculpture, painting, applied art and visual art – as the inseparable components of a new architecture.”
  • Walter Gropius appoints Paul Klee and Georg Muche as masters at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, where classes begin in October.
  • According to the statutes of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, the teachers are called masters and the students are apprentices and journeymen.
  • The Thuringian State Government demands that the Bauhaus present its finished work in an exhibition. Walter Gropius focuses all of the school’s energy on this event.
  • Walter Gropius opens the Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar with the lecture "Kunst und Technik – eine neue Einheit" (art and technology – a new unity), initiating the shift from the crafts to industry.
  • The Thuringian State Government terminates employment contracts for the masters and the director; the budget committee of the Landtag (state legislative assembly) cuts the school’s budget from 100,000 marks to 50,000 marks.


  • The city council of Dessau offers the Bauhaus a new home. The Bauhaus takes leave of Weimar with the "Kehraus-Fest" (closing party).
  • The workshops move to the Bauhaus Building, and the new constitution comes into force. The government of Anhalt recognises the Bauhaus’s new title of Hochschule für Gestaltung (school of design). Courses of study lead to the Bauhaus diploma.
  • Walter Gropius appoints Swiss architect Hannes Meyer as director of the newly established architecture department at the Bauhaus.
  • Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer and Marcel Breuer leave the Bauhaus; the new director is Hannes Meyer.
  • 32,000 reichsmarks in licence revenues are paid out to the students through the company Bauhaus GmbH.
  • The new Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe attempts to keep the Bauhaus out of all political conflicts and expels students belonging to communist organisations.
  • The NSDAP leads its campaign with calls to deprive the Bauhaus of all funding and demolish its building. It becomes the strongest party in Dessau.


  • At the city council meeting, the motion by the NSDAP to close the Bauhaus and dismiss its teaching staff is accepted with just four votes against (Communist Party of Germany (KDP, 3), Lord Mayor Hesse (1)) and an abstention by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe dissolves the Bauhaus at the start of the summer semester with the masters’ consent.

Aftermath of the Bauhaus

  • One of the distinctive features of the Bauhaus is that it integrated a diverse range of international trends and was required to reinvent itself in consistently new contexts due to its forced relocation. Perhaps the most intensive communication and propagation of the ideas coming from the Bauhaus occurred through the work of former teachers and students both in Germany and internationally and through the maintenance and establishment of new networks, even before its closure in 1933.