The somewhat eerie Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin echoes with memories of its historic faculty and students. It houses a collection of the works and history of the school (1919–1933), and its design is based on founder, Walter Gropius’s original plans.
While the building did not exist during the actual Bauhaus years, small details, like the washroom signs, reflect the spirit of the era. The school, whose ideals included closing the gap between craftsman and artist, was not only a place of learning, but a complete lifestyle. On my visit there was a photo exhibit depicting the experimentation in the medium of photography, as well as a glimpse of the life they led.
- Marianne Brandt‘s collage photos and commentary on the role of Bauhaus women.
- Lucia Moholy was asked by Gropius to document the buildings.
- My favourite, Lyonel Feininger experimented with photography with wonderful results.
- Feininger’s son, T. Lux Feininger grew up at the Bauhaus, and took photos of daily life.
Eventually the Bauhaus was forced by the Nazis to close its doors, and the faculty and students dispersed throughout the world. With the completion of the archive in 1978 the collection has made its way to a central home.