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Penn State to participate in centennial celebration of influential German art school

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Architects, academics and artists from around the world are participating in hundreds of events in the coming months to celebrate the centenary of what is considered the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century, the Bauhaus School.

Founded in 1919 in Germany, the Bauhaus is being celebrated in Germany and across the globe for its revolutionary contributions to art, architecture and design. The centennial celebration includes exhibitions, readings, performances, round table discussions and virtual tours of the institution.

German native Ute Poerschke, a professor and interim head of the Penn State Department of Architecture, is participating in the “Swiss Avantgarde and the Bauhaus” symposium, which is aligned with the centennial festivities. She will deliver a lecture, titled “Concepts of Function in Modernism,” on Nov. 23 at ETH Zurich, Switzerland’s renowned university for science and technology.

Poerschke and Daniel Purdy, professor of German studies at Penn State, are coediting an issue on “Bauhaus Transfers” for the journal Wolkenkuckucksheim | Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. The issue explores the influences of Bauhaus ideas from around the world from the second half of the 20th century until today. Wolkenkuckucksheim | Cloud-Cuckoo-Land is a multilingual, international and openly-accessible research journal on the theory of architecture.

The Bauhaus School was founded by Walter Gropius, a Berlin-based architect, and was designed as an inclusive creative school in which all arts would be brought together. The school operated in three German cities in the early 20th century: Weimar (1919 to 1925), Dessau (1925 to 1932) and Berlin (1932 to 1933).

In 1933, school leaders were forced to close the school under pressure from the Nazi regime, which painted it as a center of communist intellectualism.

The Bauhaus approach to teaching and understanding art’s relationship to society and technology continued to have a major impact in Europe and the United States as teachers of the former institution left Germany, emigrated to countries all over the world and began promoting the Bauhaus approach to art and design in their new schools.

The Bauhaus thus became one of the most influential forces in modern design, art and architecture education. It continues to have a profound effect on modern developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography.

Photo: Pixabay/Tegula

The Bauhaus School