The Federal Cultural Foundation is co-financing a series of exhibitions and projects on the history of ideas and international development of the Bauhaus at the historic Bauhaus sites. The projects will be presented at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Bauhaus-Archiv/Museum für Gestaltung Berlin starting in 2017 – and later at institutions in other German states.
The programme finances several exhibitions, such as “Light! Photography at the New Bauhaus in Chicago” in Berlin, “Ways out of the Bauhaus. Gerhard Marcks and His Circle of Friends” in Weimar and “Handcraft – Alter Ego and New Meaning” in Dessau. During the actual Bauhaus year 2019, major commemorative exhibitions will be presented in all of the new museums, which are currently under construction in the three Bauhaus cities.
In order to better coordinate the commemorative events on this occasion, nine German states have formed an alliance which, in addition to the commemorative festival week in Berlin, will stage fourteen major exhibitions throughout Germany, demonstrating where and how the Bauhaus influenced architecture, urban planning, typography, design, photography, dance and much more.
The programme “Bauhaus 2019” aims to make the Bauhaus anniversary an event of national prominence which pays tribute to the success of the Bauhaus in shaping the history of modernity on a global scale.
Projects in 2017
Three exhibitions staged by the three Bauhaus institutions will kick off the commemorative preparations: “Light! Photography at the New Bauhaus in Chicago” (Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin), “Ways out of the Bauhaus. Gerhard Marcks and His Circle of Friends” (Bauhaus Museum, Klassik Stiftung Weimar) and “Handcraft – Alter Ego and New Meaning” (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation). Each will present central themes from the history of Bauhaus ideas, whereby particular emphasis will fall on the later development of the Bauhaus methods.
Projects in 2019
Among the highlights in the commemorative year 2019 will be a national Bauhaus exhibition series. The commemorative exhibitions will be staged at three new museums, which are currently under construction and are slated for completion in 2019. The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin will commence the series with its commemorative exhibition “bauhaus: production – reproduction”. The exhibition examines the Bauhaus’s influence on 20th-century design and the reception of its artefacts which continue to be revered around the world as icons of modern design.
The commemorative exhibition “Intersections. The Bauhaus 100 Years Ago and Today” at the new Bauhaus Museum of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar will embed the founding of the State Bauhaus in Weimar in the history of modernism, illuminate the history of the Bauhaus collection and explore the role Weimar played in the history of ideas as a catalyst of democratic development in Germany.
The commemorative exhibition “Bauhaus Laboratory”, scheduled in autumn 2019 at the new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, will be the third and final part of the series. Focusing on so-called “topoi”, e.g. the department store, factory, laboratory, school or museum, this exhibition will examine the central programmes and design themes of the Bauhaus in Dessau and reveal how they influenced the formation of a modernist culture.
The Bauhaus enjoys an outstanding reputation around the world. Its history of reception not only includes its German and European beginnings, but also a global network of exchange which formed around the Bauhaus name or as a result of its influence – and still exists today. The continued existence of the Bauhaus internationally and its history of exile and impact after 1933 is the subject of the exhibition “Bauhaus Imaginista”. The touring exhibition, planned in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, will be staged at ten separate venues on five continents. At each venue, curators will integrate genuine Bauhaus details which are specific to that respective country. In 2019, the exhibition “Bauhaus Imaginista” will return to Germany for presentation in Berlin and will include an accompanying programme with participating international institutions, artists, designers and architects.
Additional projects in Germany
The exhibition “Bauhaus 2018 – 1968. The Rationalisation of Happiness” begins where “50 Years of Bauhaus” left off – an exhibition that was organised by the Württembergischer Kunstverein in 1968. Developed by Herbert Bayer, the exhibition was an international success and was shown at eight museums around the world until 1971. Fifty years later, the new exhibition project will examine how this historic exhibition depicted the Bauhaus, what kind of image of Germany it projected and how it reflected the events of 1968 – from the civil unrest in Paris to the politics of the Cold War.
The exhibition “Unknown Modernity 2019” (working title) by the dkw. Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk in Cottbus will examine how strongly the representation of the city was influenced by the Bauhaus as portrayed in the style of New Objectivity. With regard to architectural history, the exhibition will also highlight the discovery and presentation of exemplary Bauhaus-influenced buildings in Brandenburg.
A second project titled “Potsdam Dance Festival 2019” will define the choreographic legacy of the Bauhaus, which established the practice of commissioning productions from artists in the areas of dance and choreography.
The Landesmuseum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte in Oldenburg made the Bauhaus a focus of its collection at a very early stage. In the upcoming exhibition “The Bauhaus in Oldenburg“, the museum will examine how this policy was able to influence the production methods of regional artists and what distinguished the reception of the Bauhaus at the national level after it was shut down by the National Socialists.
The Sprengel Museum in Hannover is developing an exhibition which will extensively reappraise the once influential but now almost forgotten photographic works by the Bauhaus artist Otto Umbehr, a.k.a. “Umbo”.
The artist Thomas Schütte is creating a walk-through room sculpture for the project “map 2019 Bauhaus Netzwerk Krefeld” in North Rhine-Westphalia. It will serve as a venue for debates about the current development of the city and urban society and will also include an exhibition on the tradition of architectural modernism in Krefeld – particularly with respect to Mies van der Rohe’s influence in the region.
The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz/Weltmuseum der Druckkunst in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is planning a typography exhibition titled “Simply Grotesque” which will outline the development of the Bauhaus type “grotesque” (sans-serif) and reconstruct its influence on typographic traditions in the United States and elsewhere.