Art and Culture 

Bauhaus, a Hundred Years Later

Total Celebration

Joaquín Medina Warmburg 

The Bauhaus turns 100 and commemorations abound. In something like a replay of the ‘festive ceremonial’ that Walter Gropius announced for the Bauhaus in its 1919 manifesto, there is to be a chain of festivals, symposiums, and Bauhaus museum openings, and research projects on the global scope of its legacy will be completed at the same time that old book collections and furniture series are resuscitated and publications go to print, from magazine features to monographs and biographical novels, not to mention performances like the premiere of an opera about the school’s end. It would seem that the Bauhaus sings better each day, to use a phrase often heard from Carlos Gardel fans. That short-lived small art school which only 1,250 attended between 1919 and 1933 is to this very day a powerful symbol of the cultural effervescence that accompanied the Weimar Republic. Its closure by the National Socialist regime ensured it would after the war become a cultural myth with the potential to transcend historical facts and contexts. The history of how it was received became a succession of appropriations of its symbolic capital by the most diverse cultural, political, and commercial interests. In its centennial, the Bauhaus inhabits a diffuse territory in which the deep artistic and ideological discrepancies among its leaders compel us to speak not of one Bauhaus, but of several...

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