The Bauhaus: the art and design school where modern photomontage techniques were taught


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The Bauhaus was a crafts and fine art school active from 1919 to 1933 in Weimar, Germany that arose from the merger of the local Academy of Fine Art with the School of Arts and Crafts.

The stated mission of the Bauhaus was to unite “fine” art (painting, sculpture, architecture and theater) and the applied arts/crafts (decoration, textiles, furniture, advertising, graphic design, and artisan objects in wood, metal, ceramics and glass).

As Walter Gropius, the famous architect and first director of the school, described it, it was “a new community of makers, without the distinctions of class that create an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists.

That which the Bauhaus tried to definitively bring to life was an idea touched upon by a few avant-garde movements of the 20th century: the realization of a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art, to be achieved by uniting all existing arts.

The Bauhaus holds an important place in the history of modern art, to the degree that it is identified as a style of its own, an aesthetic code that came from some of the figures that taught at the school: from the aforementioned Walter Gropius to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, from Wassily Kandinsky to Paul Klee, from László Moholy-Nagy to Josef Albers and Oskar Schlemmer.

The Bauhaus workshops that were most popular among students were those of graphic design and advertising, where high-quality teacher-artists such as Herbert Bayer and Joost Schmidt introduced their pupils to advanced techniques such as that of modern photomontage.

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