Weimar Classics Foundation
The Weimar Classics Foundation (Klassik Stiftung Weimar) holds the oldest authorized collection of Bauhaus materials worldwide. The core of the collection is owed to a gift by Walter Gropius in 1925. Parts of the collection have been on exhibition in the Bauhaus Museum on Theaterplatz since 1995. A new Bauhaus Museum is currently being built in Weimar.
On display since 2009, the presentation called “The Bauhaus Comes from Weimar“ shows works by Walter Gropius, the founding director of the Bauhaus, as well as Bauhaus masters such as Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks, Johannes Itten and Paul Klee. In addition, it introduces the works of the students to provide exquisite evidence of the practice-oriented training at the Bauhaus. The objects exhibited at the Bauhaus Museum uniquely illustrate the complexity, creativity and liveliness of the work of the school in Weimar.
The Bauhaus Collection of the Klassik Stiftung extends back to the founding days of the Bauhaus in 1919 in Weimar and is therefore the oldest authorised Bauhaus museum collection in the world.
The fundamental and most important growth occurred in 1925 when Walter Gropius presented the State Art Collection of Weimar with 150 selected objects before the school moved to Dessau. These include design classics such as the famous table lamp by Jucker/Wagenfeld, metal works by Marianne Brandt, furniture by Marcel Breuer, the Cradle by Peter Keler and ceramics by Wilhelm Bogler and Otto Lindig, as well as 40 works from the weaving workshop. To date, the collection has grown to an inventory of approx. 10,000 exhibits through acquisition from estates and donations, as well as selected purchases. It has been supplemented by an important collection with the work of Henry van de Velde and his School of Arts and Crafts, as well as the State Technical University of Architecture and Civil Engineering under the direction of Otto Bartning from 1926-1930.
The holdings were expanded by the recently acquired Ludewig Collection, a unique private collection from Berlin that records the development of functional design from the end of the eighteenth century down to the present day, with a special focus on the Bauhaus. It features approximately 2000 exhibition items, including high-quality objects by renowned artists and designers such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Josef Hoffmann and Marcel Breuer.
In the future, the collections are to be presented in a new Bauhaus Museum that will replace the previous Bauhaus Museum on Theaterplatz. The Federal Government and the State of Thuringia have commissioned the Weimar Classics Foundation to build the new museum, using a special investment programme launched in 2008. Following an open international architectural competition with 536 entrants, the museum design by Prof. Heike Hanada and Prof. Benedict Tonon was approved in 2012. The design places a geometrically clear shape as a powerful solitaire on the edge of the Weimarhallenpark.