Wunderbar Together Celebrates 100 Years of Bauhaus with Events from Coast to Coast

December 13, 2019

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the legendary Bauhaus school, which has roots in Germany but soon spread across the globe. Wunderbar Together celebrated this milestone with a series of events and partnerships from coast to coast.

The school, famous for its motto, “Form Follows Function,” revolutionized German architecture, but was banned by the ruling Nazi regime. As a result, top Bauhaus thinkers like Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and László Maholy-Nagy emigrated  to the United States, where they had a major influence on American architecture.

Walter Gropius moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and continued to work on projects throughout the region. An exhibition at Harvard Art Museum, which has the largest collection of Bauhaus artifacts in the world outside of Germany, educated visitors about the famed school with a particular focus on the life of Gropius.

The exhibition was one of the many events that opened the Wunderbar Together campaign in October 2018. Another opening event brought the German art group URBANSCREEN to Atlanta, Georgia, where it projected an impressive light show honoring the movement onto the Fulton County Library, a late work by Bauhaus master Marcel Breuer.

In the Midwest, several events took place in the Chicago area, another American hub of the Bauhaus movement. Former Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe created the “New Bauhaus” at the Illinois Institute of Technology after leaving Germany along with his colleague, László Maholy-Nagy. While in Chicago, van der Rohe was responsible for the design of several buildings that still dot the city’s skyline as well as the exquisite Farnsworth and McCormick Houses on the city’s edge.

Both of these famed houses hosted Wunderbar Together events. At the McCormick House German artist Claudia Weber completed a six-week residency that allowed her to live, work, and put on exhibitions in the house and at the nearby Elmhurst Art Museum. The Farnsworth House, perhaps van der Rohe’s most famous work, was transformed by a modern light installation, Geometry of Light.

Even though Boston and Chicago may be best known for Bauhaus architecture, Wunderbar Together brought the celebration to cities and towns all over the country with three touring projects visiting museums, universities, and schools from coast to coast.

The exhibition, created by the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, brought its vast collection of photos portraying both life and work at the Bauhaus School to visitors at museums and universities.

Children and students were also invited to get to know Bauhaus at the hands-on Discover Bauhaus workshops that also traveled to several states. After a short theory section taught by an experienced designer, students were invited to put theory into practice make their own mini Bauhaus-inspired chairs out of simple materials.

The final touring exhibition gave visitors a way to experience Bauhaus like never before with the Virtual Reality experience “Virtual Bauhaus” developed by the Goethe-Institut Boston, in partnership with the Cologne Game Lab. The VR headsets immerse viewers in the original Bauhaus school, giving them a window into life on campus and the impact of the movement on architecture. This popular exhibition traveled to South by Southwest, Hub Week in Boston, and numerous schools and universities.

At each of these special events and exhibitions, Wunderbar Together was proud to celebrate the profound legacy that the Bauhaus school has had, both in Germany and the US. From Detroit’s Lafayette Park to Washington DC’s newly-renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Find out more about Wunderbar Together and the Bauhaus Anniversary on our events website.

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