Out of the Display Case:
The Bauhaus in Pro and Contra. The title page of the brochure on the exhibition “Moderne Formgestaltung“ (Modern Design)

// Object Talk
Thu, 20 April 2023, 6 pm
Bauhaus Museum Dessau
Open Stage

Dessau was the trailblazer in work on the history of the Bauhaus. Celebrated in West Germany, the Bauhaus in East Germany met with a negative response for a long time. The city of Dessau engaged its efforts already in the early sixties for the reconstruction and new usage of the Bauhaus Building for the fortieth anniversary of the Bauhaus in 1966.  The exhibition “Moderne Formgestaltung“ (Modern Desing) was planned for the opening.

While the reopening of the Bauhaus Building actually didn’t take place until ten years later, in 1976, the exhibition was nevertheless put on – and opened in 1967. Location was the Anhältische Gemäldegalerie. The exhibition was the very first one ever devoted to Bauhaus Modernism. It took place despite multiple resistance from the Bauakademie (Academy of Architecture) and the SED (Socialist Unity Party of the GDR), and despite the difficult conditions of the Cold War, which impeded the collection and the access to many objects.

The title page designed by Josef Albers of the brochure for the exhibition “Moderne Formgestaltung (Modern Design) – the Progressive Heritage of the Bauhaus” takes centre stage in the object discussion. Elizabeth Kremer (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation) has chosen newspaper reports, documents and photographs from the Municipal and Federal Archives concerning the protagonists  who at the time committed themselves to working on the Bauhaus heritage. In addition, she reconstructs the procedures and conflicts that led to the failure of the efforts invested by the City of Dessau to revive the Bauhaus Building and the first retrospective and overall show on the Bauhaus.