Chronology: 1919 – Bauhaus is founded by Gropius


  • At the suggestion of Henry van de Velde, Walter Gropius resumes the contacts established with the ministry of state of the grand duchy of Saxony-Weimar in 1915 with a view to setting up an artistic advice centre for industry, crafts and the manual trades.
  • Walter Gropius becomes director of the academy of fine art, which includes the former school of arts and crafts. The state bauhaus in Weimar is an institution operated by the free state of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, just a few months old at the time. The Bauhaus manifesto commits it to forging all forms of art into a single whole, to bringing back together all artistic disciplines – sculpture, painting, arts and crafts, and manual trades – and making them integral components of a new art of building: Walter Gropius moves his office from Berlin to Weimar (later joined by Carl Fieger and Ernst Neufert), and in 1922 his office manager Adolf Meyer becomes associate master of architecture. First Bauhaus signet by Karl Peter Röhl.
  • First meeting of the council of masters attended by Johannes Itten, Lyonel Feininger, Gerhard Marcks and the professors from the former academy of arts (Max Thedy, Walther Klemm, Otto Fröhlich, Richard Engelmann). The criticism Walter Gropius levels at the first exhibition of students’ work raises tensions with some of the students and the old staff. The Bauhaus brings together workshops and classes in stone sculpture, painting (Johannes Itten), graphics and printing (Lyonel Feininger), drawing, anatomy, bookbinding (Otto Dorfner) and weaving (Helene Börner). These are joined in december by a gold, silver and coppersmith’s workshop, a private venture run by Naum Slutzky.
  • Johannes Itten starts teaching the trial semester, later to become the "Vorkurs", the preparatory course. An integral part of the curriculum from 1921, it was to be developed and expanded by such notable figures as László Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers.
  • Adherents of the german national party among the students and the people of Weimar condemn what they see as spartacist and bolshevist influences at the Bauhaus. Gertrud Granow launches her course on harmonisation theory.


  • Spartacus revolt in Berlin. Assassination of Liebknecht and Luxemburg. Elections to the National Assembly: conservative parties 44, national liberals 22, other liberals 75, centrists 91, social democrats 163, independent social democrats 22, others 4 seats.
  • 1 Dollar = 8.50 Marks (1913: 1 Dollar = 4.20 Marks). The National Assembly is convened in response to the street fighting in Berlin and Weimar. Friedrich Ebert becomes president, the Scheidemann administration disbands workers' and soldiers' councils.
  • General strike put down in Berlin and other cities.
  • Bavarian Soviet Republic.
  • 1 Dollar = 13.50 Marks.
  • Treaty of Versailles is signed.
  • Weimar constitution inaugurated.

S C I E N C E ,   T E C H N O L O G Y   A N D   A R T S

  • Science and technology: first address relayed by pa system in Berlin. German Airmail gets underway between Berlin and Weimar. Hugo Junkers’s F13, the world’s first all-metal plane, takes to the air in Dessau.
  • Literature: "Demian" by Hermann Hesse, "The Last Days of Mankind" by Karl Kraus.
  • Theatre and music: Max Reinhardt stages "Oresteia" (Aeschylus) at the redesigned Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Mary Wigman develops expressive dance.
  • Film: "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" by Robert Wiene.
  • Art: major Futurist exhibition in Milan.
  • Architecture: Auguste and Gustave Perret design Esders clothing factory, Paris.