2019 Bauhaus centenary: New museum, special exhibitions and even a marathon
London, October 2018. With London’s Tate Modern currently delighting visitors with a retrospective of Bauhaus pioneer Anni Albers’ groundbreaking textile art, we are taking a look ahead at things not to be missed next year in the German Bauhaus heartland regions of Thuringia and Saxony.
As its birthplace, Thuringia will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Bauhaus design school in Weimar with 250 exhibitions, festivals and events throughout 2019. Visitors can add an interesting dimension by also exploring neighbouring Saxony on the Bauhaus trail as a lot of the groundwork for the eminent design school was laid there. We have curated some of the most interesting Bauhaus experiences in both regions:
Thuringia: new Bauhaus museum as centrepiece of celebrations
On 6 April 2019, the new bauhaus museum weimar will open with a new permanent exhibition: “The Bauhaus comes from Weimar” will for the first time showcase a wide range of the world’s oldest collection of Bauhaus treasures. The previous set-up in the town’s former museum of art had only been able to present a small selection of the extensive collection. The new building, featuring a minimalist glass cube over a concrete base and five levels converging in open spaces, will also form the centre of a new cultural quarter in Weimar.
Also on 6 April, neighbouring Neues Museum Weimar will open a new permanent exhibition on “Van de Velde, Nietzsche and Modernism around 1900” with paintings, sculptures and decorative pieces by international artists of the realist, impressionist and art nouveau movements. All sportive art and design buffs should put 28th April in their calendars when the “Bauhaus Marathon”, organised by Klassik Stiftung Weimar, invites runners to include cultural “time-outs” en route to experience Bauhaus moments at various sites in and around Weimar, including guided tours, concerts and performances. Only the actual running time will be measured and you if you’re not up for the full distance, there is also a half-marathon …
Female Bauhaus pioneers take centre stage
It is not a well-known fact but in its foundation year 1919, more women than men applied to study at the “Staatliches Bauhaus” in Weimar as one of the first art schools to also accept women. Erfurt’s Angermuseum sheds light on four of these female Bauhaus pioneers in its “Bauhaus girls – from learning to living” exhibition (from 23 March 2019), exploring the lives of Gertrud Arndt, Marianne Brandt, Margarete Heymann and Margaretha Reichardt and their work in photography, metalwork, ceramics and textiles. Only 15 minutes by train, the charming Thuringian town of Gotha not only offers another Bauhaus exhibition highlight but the added opportunity of exploring the stunning Baroque complex of Schloss Friedenstein, frequently visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who spent part of his childhood at the palace. Opening on 28 April 2019 at Friedenstein’s Ducal Museum, “Oskar Schlemmer – The Bauhaus and the way to Modernism” honours one of the most important Bauhaus masters who had a huge influence on the Bauhaus periods in Weimar and Dessau and is today best known for his wall design, dance and stage projects.
Saxony and its icons of Classic Modernism
A lot of the groundwork for the Bauhaus movement was laid in Saxony where renowned architects of the so-called “Neues Bauen” (New Building) style left their mark. Germany’s first garden city “Hellerau” (1909) in the northern part of Dresden was rooted in the “Deutsche Werkstätten für Handwerkskunst“ (German Workshops for Craftmanship) who were also co-founders of “Deutscher Werkbund” (German Association of Craftsmen) that is closely related to the Bauhaus movement.
Architecture and design lovers will also find numerous icons of Classic Modernism throughout the region, such as Josef Albers’ large-scale glass window in Leipzig’s Grassi Museum, the “Versöhnungskirche” (Church of Reconciliation) in Leipzig and the Schocken department store in Chemnitz, which today houses a museum for archaeology. “Haus Schminke” in Löbau is one of four global eminent examples of the “Neues Bauen” style of avantgarde architecture that originated in Germany in the 1920s. In preparation of next year’s 100th Bauhaus anniversary, the house has been completely renovated and will be open to the public. Another hidden gem can be found in the small town of Niesky not too far from the Polish border where architect Konrad Wachsmann, a friend of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, built a modernist wood house in block design, now known as “Konrad-Wachsmann-Haus” and open to visitors.
Exhibitions in Dresden, Leipzig and beyond
The region also offers a number of special events and exhibitions for next year’s centenary such as the “Bauhaus Saxony” exhibition at Leipzig’s Grassi Museum (19 April to 6 Oct 2019). Also in Leipzig, the Museum of the Printing Arts hosts a special exhibition (30 June to 27 Oct 2019), highlighting the art of printing in 1919 and looking at how innovative German graphic arts influenced the Bauhaus. To see the most widely performed avantgarde artistic dance, head to Dresden where Oskar Schlemmer’s “Das Triadische Ballett” (Triadic Ballet) is on the agenda of Dresden Music Festival to be performed on 7 and 8 June 2019.
Dresden City Museum is taking a look at Modernist architecture in its “Modernism in Dresden? Architecture and Urban Planning 1919 – 1939” exhibition (22 June to 6 Oct 2019). Chemnitz’s Industrial Museum is planning a special exhibition (5 Oct 2019 to 27 Jan 2020) on the occasion of the Marianne Brandt Competition to showcase 60 works of young artists. The painter, sculptor, photographer and designer, who studied at the Bauhaus school, became head of the metal workshop in 1928 and the competition is the only one in Germany dedicated to a female Bauhaus representative.
Note to the Editor
The Cultural Heart of Germany is a tourism initiative of Saxony Tourism (www.visitsaxony.com) and Thuringia Tourism (www.visit-thuringia.com). The neighbouring states of Saxony and Thuringia feature a unique cultural heritage and rich musical tradition that the Cultural Heart of Germany promotes in the UK.
Easy access to Saxony & Thuringia: All major airlines to Berlin and Frankfurt
New: ICE high-speed rail link cutting travel times from Munich and Nuremberg – Munich-Erfurt 2 hrs 15 min, Nuremberg-Erfurt 1 hr, Munich-Leipzig 3 hrs 15 min, Nuremberg-Leipzig 2 hrs
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