An Oral History of the Bauhaus: Hear Rare Interviews (in English) with Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & More

Image by Detief Mewes, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

The Bauhaus, which oper­at­ed as an influ­en­tial school in Ger­many between 1919 and 1933 but lives on as a kind of aes­thet­ic ide­al, has its strongest asso­ci­a­tions with high­ly visu­al work, like tex­tiles, graph­ic design, indus­tri­al design, and espe­cial­ly archi­tec­ture. But a good deal of thought went into estab­lish­ing the kind of ratio­nal­i­ty- and func­tion­al­i­ty-ori­ent­ed philo­soph­i­cal basis that would pro­duce all that visu­al work, and you can hear some of the lead­ing lights of the Bauhaus dis­cuss it, in Eng­lish, on the record Bauhaus Reviewed: 1919 to 1933, now avail­able on Spo­ti­fy. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s soft­ware, you can down­load it here.) You can also pur­chase your own copy online.

“The bulk of the nar­ra­tive is by [Wal­ter] Gropius, an artic­u­late and pas­sion­ate advo­cate for this remark­able exper­i­ment in edu­ca­tion,” writes All Music Guide’s Stephen Eddins. “Artist Josef Albers and archi­tect [Lud­wig] Mies van der Rohe also con­tribute com­men­tary. [LTM Records founder] James Nice is cred­it­ed with ‘curat­ing’ the CD, and it must be his edit­ing that gives the album such a clear and infor­ma­tive nar­ra­tive struc­ture — one comes away with a vivid under­stand­ing of the devel­op­ment of the move­ment, both philo­soph­i­cal­ly and prag­mat­i­cal­ly.”

In between the spo­ken pas­sages on the ori­gins of the Bauhaus, form and total­i­ty, han­dling and tex­ture, utopi­anism, and oth­er top­ics besides, Bauhaus Reviewed 1919–1933 offers musi­cal com­po­si­tions by such Bauhaus-asso­ci­at­ed com­posers as Arnold Schoen­berg, Josef Matthias Hauer, and George Antheil. You can hear some of the sound from the record repur­posed in Archi­tec­ture as Lan­guage, the short about Mies by Swiss film­mak­er Alexan­dre Favre just below. In it that pio­neer of mod­ernism dis­cuss­es the Bauhaus as well as his own indi­vid­ual work, all of it inter­est­ing to any­one with an incli­na­tion toward mid­cen­tu­ry Euro­pean-Amer­i­can archi­tec­ture and design, none of it ulti­mate­ly more rel­e­vant than the final words the mas­ter speaks: “I don’t want to be inter­est­ing. I want to be good.”

via Mono­skop

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load Orig­i­nal Bauhaus Books & Jour­nals for Free: Gropius, Klee, Kandin­sky, Moholy-Nagy & More

The Female Pio­neers of the Bauhaus Art Move­ment: Dis­cov­er Gertrud Arndt, Mar­i­anne Brandt, Anni Albers & Oth­er For­got­ten Inno­va­tors

32,000+ Bauhaus Art Objects Made Avail­able Online by Har­vard Muse­um Web­site

The Nazi’s Philis­tine Grudge Against Abstract Art and The “Degen­er­ate Art Exhi­bi­tion” of 1937

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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