The Bauhaus Movement
The first proclamation of the Bauhaus declared: "Archiects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew the composite character of a building as an entity... Art is not a 'profession.' There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman... Together let us conceive and create the new building of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will rise one day toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith."
This initial statement reflected a nostalgia for the guild systems and collective community spirit that built the great Gothic cathedrals, as well as the socialist thought then current in Germany and throughout much of Europe. Suspicion of this political attitude caused antagonism toward the school among the more conservative elements in Weimar, an antagonism that finally in 1925 drove the Bauhaus to its new home in Dessau.
Over the years the Bauhaus attracted one of the most remarkable art faculties in history. Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Georg Muche, and Oskar Schiemmer were among those who taught painting, graphic arts, and stage design. Pottery was taught by Gerhard Marcks, who was also a sculptor and graphic artist. When Johannes Itten left in 1923, the foundation course was given by László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian painter, photographer, theater producer and graphic designer, and, through his writings and teaching, the most influential figure after Gropius in developing and spreading the Bauhaus idea. In addition to the star-studded faculty, the Bauhaus frequently attracted distinguished foreign visitors, such as, in 1927, the Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich. When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, several former students joined the faculty - the architects and designers Marcel Breuer and Herbert Bayer, and the painter and designer Josef Albers who reorganized the foundation course. Of the artist-teachers, Kandinsky, Klee, and Feininger were to become recognized as major twentieth-century painters. Moholy-Nagy, through his books The New Vision and Vision in Motion and his directorship of the New Bauhaus, founded in Chicago in 1937 (now the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology), greatly influenced the teaching of design in the United States. Josef Albers would become one of the most important art teachers in the United States, first at the remarkable school of experimental education, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and subsequently at Yale University. Marcel Breuer, principally active at the Bauhaus as a furniture designer, ultimately joined Gropius in 1937 on the faculty of Harvard University and practiced architecture with him. After Breuer left this partnership in 1941, his reputation steadily grew to a position of world renown.