Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Between 1925 and 1932, the Bauhaus in Dessau enjoyed its heyday as a school of design. The liberal atmosphere and sense of a new era dawning in the city of Dessau at the time provided the Bauhaus members with many opportunities for personal development and expression – as a college based on Reformpädagogik (an educational theory favoring the promotion of creativity), as a production site for serially manufactured product design, and as a focus for experimentation in a new approach to the theatre and stage – as well as for architecture and for the shared life of an artists’ colony.
Many objects from the period have survived to the present day and can be viewed in Dessau. The Bauhaus building itself, with its workshop wing, the stage and the refectory, the Masters’ Houses, the Dessau-Törten estate with the Konsum building and the Laubenganghäuser (Housing with Balcony Access) and the Kornhaus (granary), as well as the Employment Office. Each of these buildings and each of the housing estate buildings tells the story of a collective existence based on what is still today an avant-garde basic view of modern society.
The Bauhaus and the Masters’ Houses in Dessau have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996. Some 100,000 visitors every year come to see these architectural icons of classic modernism.
The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation was formed in 1994. This artistic and scholarly foundation – with its headquarters in the Bauhaus building – works with a historical and reflective method and at the same time inquires into the present-day relevance and contemporary potential that can be derived from the legacy of the Bauhaus for the twenty-first century. The Bauhaus Workshop, for example, focuses on present-day design issues on the basis of the challenges of urban development, mobility and energy considerations. Educational events organized by the Bauhaus Academy are aimed in an interdisciplinary way at designers, artists, architects, researchers and students from all over the world. Residential programs are available to enable them to live and work at the Bauhaus for more extended periods. So when you are visiting the Bauhaus building in Dessau, it is possible today to meet young Polish textile designers at lunch in the refectory, for example, or to encounter a dance group from Seoul rehearsing in the Bauhaus assembly hall.
The Foundation works with one special topic each year derived from the historical topics, with its relevance to the present day being explored through exhibitions, symposia, publications and the stage programme. The traditional Bauhaus festival – an arts festival that collaborates with many renowned art, design and film colleges – is a highlight in the Foundation’s programme.
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily
T +49 (0)340 – 65 08 250
With more than 40,000 exhibits, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has the second largest collection of Bauhaus materials in the world. Its main emphasis is on the history of the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1933, and the Dessau years in particular. To coincide with the Bauhaus centenary, a new Bauhaus museum is being built in Dessau, with financial support from the Federal Government and the state of Saxony-Anhalt. In an open international architecture competition held in 2015, the González Hinz Zabala architecture office (addenda architects) in Barcelona, Spain, emerged as the winner for the design of the museum building. The Bauhaus Museum in Dessau will open in 2019. In addition to presenting the collection, it will also be a location for exhibitions on contemporary responses to the Bauhaus.
As one of the three institutions holding Bauhaus collections, and as a member of the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will also be organizing two large exhibitions for the centenary, and it shares responsibility for the central events in the centenary programme.