1919

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.”

Bauhaus At the suggestion of Henry van de Velde, Walter Gropius resumes the contacts established with the state ministry of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar in 1915 with a view to setting up a school as an artistic advisory body for industry, the arts and the crafts.

Walter Gropius becomes director of the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst (now the Bauhaus University Weimar), which includes the former school of arts and crafts. The Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar is an institution of the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, founded just a few months before. The Bauhaus programme states, “The Bauhaus strives to combine all artistic endeavour, to unite all artistic disciplines – sculpture, painting, applied arts and crafts – in the building.” Walter Gropius moves his office from Berlin to Weimar (later joined by Carl Fieger and Ernst Neufert) and in 1922 his office manager Adolf Meyer becomes associate master of architecture. The Bauhaus’s first publisher’s mark is designed by Karl Peter Röhl.

The first meeting of the masters’ council is attended by Johannes Itten, Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks and professors from the former Hochschule für Bildende Kunst (Max Thedy, Walther Klemm, Otto Fröhlich and Richard Engelmann). The criticism Walter Gropius levels at the first exhibition of students’ work raises tensions with some of the students and the old staff. The Bauhaus brings together workshops and classes in stone sculpture, painting (Johannes Itten), graphics and printing (Lyonel Feininger), drawing, anatomy, bookbinding (Otto Dorfner) and weaving (Helene Börner). These are joined in December by a gold-, silver- and coppersmith’s workshop, a private venture run by Naum Slutzky.

Johannes Itten starts teaching the trial semester, later to become the preliminary course. An integral part of the curriculum from 1921, this was developed and expanded by notable figures such as László Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers.

Nationalists among the students and the people of Weimar condemn what they see as Spartacist and Bolshevist influences at the Bauhaus. Gertrud Grunow launches her course on the theory of harmonisation.

Politics Spartacist revolt in Berlin. Assassination of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Elections to the National Assembly: conservative parties 44, national liberals 22, other liberals 75, centrists 91, social democrats 163, independent social democrats 22, others 4 seats.

Hyperinflation sets in in Germany: 1 $ = 8,50 marks (1913: 1 $ = 4,20 marks). By the end of the year, the value of the dollar rises to 13,50 marks. The National Assembly is convened in response to demonstrations in Berlin and Weimar. Friedrich Ebert (Social Democratic Party) becomes president, the Scheidemann administration disbands workers' and soldiers' councils. General strike suppressed in Berlin and other cities. Bavarian Soviet Republic. Treaty of Versailles is signed. Weimar constitution is inaugurated.

Science and technology First address relayed by PA system in Berlin; German airmail gets underway between Berlin and Weimar; Hugo Junkers’s F 13, the world’s first all-metal plane, takes to the air in Dessau.

Literature "Demian" by Hermann Hesse, "The Last Days of Mankind" by Karl Kraus.

Theatre and music Max Reinhardt stages "Oresteia" (Aeschylus) in the remodelled Schauspielhaus, a theatre in Berlin; Mary Wigman develops the expressive dance.

Film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" by Robert Wiene.

Arts Major futurist exhibition in Milan.

Architecture Auguste and Gustave Perret design the garment factory Atelier Esders, Paris.