Masters and teachers
Teachers were called “masters” at the Weimar State Bauhaus. They included renowned artists such as Feininger, Kandinsky, Marcks and Klee. Later on, outstanding Bauhaus graduates were appointed as junior masters. Moreover, to ensure students acquired an all-round training, the Bauhaus regularly invited along guest lecturers and speakers.
Gropius appointed Josef Albers as a young master before he had even qualified as a journeyman. He was in charge of the preliminary course, where he formulated a pioneering approach to art education.
Anni Albers originally wanted to be a painter, but it was at the loom where she found artistic freedom at the Bauhaus. In her work she primarily explored abstraction.
He came across the Bauhaus in Weimar more or less by chance – and after his first conversation with Walter Gropius he knew he would be staying. Years later Arndt took over the Building and Fitting Out department.
The commercial typography he designed for the Bauhaus was a defining feature of the Dessau period and hugely enhanced the popularity of the School of Design.
Berger was acting head of Weaving after Gunta Stölzl left. She later opened her own “Textile Studio” but being Jewish she was soon banned from practising her trade. Otti Berger died in Auschwitz in 1944.
László Moholy-Nagy quickly recognised her unique talent. With his encouragement, Brandt studied in the male domain of the metal workshop – proving more successful than many of her classmates.
He was the first furniture designer ever to use tubular steel. Breuer quickly grasped how to use this material, combining it with textiles for optimum comfort.
With his experience as an architect and vocational trainer, Engemann was taken on to teach architectural drawing, fitting out and descriptive geometry at the Bauhaus.
Feininger was one of the first masters recruited to the Bauhaus by Gropius in 1919. His woodcut “Cathedral” adorned the cover of the Bauhaus Manifesto.
He had travelled his path with Gropius, Behrens and Le Corbusier. For the team of architects headed by Gropius, Fieger drew plans for the Bauhaus building and the Masters’ Houses. Alongside this he taught at the Bauhaus.
After training with the famous dancer Gret Palucca, Grosch was hired by the Bauhaus to teach gymnastics. Her performances for theatre class productions are legendary.
The musician had formulated her own approach to teaching music, seeking to address all the senses in a harmony of equals. Her classes were attended by masters as well as students.
When Hartwig designed his famous Bauhaus chess set, it met all the criteria defined for an object by Gropius: practical, durable, inexpensive and beautiful.
Abstract, open, useful. Those were the modern principles that Hilberseimer instilled in his students of architecture and of housing and urban design. He recorded his urban planning theory in numerous publications.
Itten developed the celebrated Bauhaus preliminary course and was a major influence during the early years. He left the Bauhaus after disagreements and founded the Itten School in Berlin.
When Kandinsky was appointed by the Bauhaus, he was already one of the great names in modern art. For young people with talent, this was often reason enough to attempt the Bauhaus experiment.
Klee was left-handed but he could paint with both hands. Many of his Bauhaus students were so impressed by his artistic skills that they dedicated their own works to him.
Krehan and Marcks worked as a team in the Bauhaus pottery workshop. Together with their students they created vessels with geometric shapes: modern, simple, with timeless elegance.
At the Bauhaus Kuhr studied under the great artists Kandinsky, Klee and Moholy-Nagy. He was later recruited himself to teach figurative drawing and nude and portrait painting.
Lindig quickly became a leading force in the Bauhaus pottery workshop. The pots and decorations he and Theodor Bogler created were a defining influence in Bauhaus ceramics.
Sculpture, pottery and woodcuts were life’s blood to Marcks. As master of form he set up the pottery workshop at the Bauhaus.
He was Walter Gropius’s right-hand man, his number 1 planner and a close confidant. In 1910 they had already worked together on the Fagus Factory, one of the most significant buildings in modernist architecture.
László Moholy-Nagy was the genius of all media. He was a living example of his own educational philosophy as a self-taught artist – at the Bauhaus and later at the New Bauhaus in Chicago.
Muche was one of the youngest Bauhaus masters. The Haus am Horn, based on his designs, was in fact the “dream house” he had designed for himself and his young wife El.
Peterhans was a photographic perfectionist. He used tweezers to arrange his still lifes millimetre by millimetre. He demanded the same devotion to technical precision from the students in his photography class.
She was the woman at Mies’s side. In 1932 Lilly Reich took over the fitting out workshop and officially became the second female Bauhaus master.
Xanti Schawinsky was a multi-talent: painter, photographer, architect, graphic designer, saxophonist and stage designer. He remains one of the few Bauhäusler to make their mark in every sphere.
Scheper headed the wall painting workshop at the Bauhaus, was involved in developing the Maljarstroi building institute in Moscow and later took over the public agency for the preservation of monuments in Berlin.
Space Dance, Gesture Dance, Rod Dance, Triadic Ballet. Oskar Schlemmer developed his costumed, masked dancer into an “art figure” synthesising dance, costume and music.
Known to all as “Schmidtchen”, Joost Schmidt came to the Bauhaus as a student and was among the young masters appointed by Gropius in 1925. He stayed until 1932.
Lothar Schreyer took over the stage workshop at the Bauhaus in 1921 but left abruptly in 1923 when his cult-like “Moon Play” proved a disaster.
From chairs to cities, Stam designed types for industrial and serial production. His standardised row house for the Weissenhof housing estate was a game-changer.
Gunta Stölzl’s affinity for weaving and textiles stood her in such good stead that she was placed in charge of the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau, first as a master of works and ultimately as its head.