Bauhaus: Ninety Years of Inspiration

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Inspired by a vision of bringing artists and craftsmen together to start a movement in art which would change the future of the world, Walter Gropius opened the doors to Bauhaus. The year was 1919 when Gropius founded Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. Germany was bankrupt after a devastating World War I and the younger generation was eager to make positive changes.

“Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as “professional art”. There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies.

Let us therefore create a new guild of craftsmen without the class-distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. It will combine architecture, sculpture, and painting in a single form, and will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith.” — Walter Gropius

Gropius named the school Bauhaus, which is the transliteration for building house, but according to the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, it stands for “an eagerness to experiment, openness, creativity, a close link to industrial practice and inter-nationality.”

We hope you too can experiment with the creativity of art and be inspired by the Bauhaus movement. Please visit the sites of the artists and sources by clicking on the images or titles.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Bauhaus The School and The Style

Every generation seems to have extreme changes which influence life one way or another. Even though contemporary styles had come into play before Gropius opened the school, the Bauhaus movement was considered a radical step towards modernism.

During the 14 years of existence, Bauhaus was operational in three separate locations: Weimer, Germany from 1919 – 1925, Dessau, Germany from 1925 – 1932, and Berlin, Germany from 1932 – 1933. With each move of the school, some programs were added while some dropped. It was required for all students to complete a preliminary course covering theoretical aspects and practical perspectives before continuing onto the specialized workshops.

Bauhaus Dessau5

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Principles of Teaching at Bauhaus7

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Bauhaus and The Master Instructors

Bauhaus selected some of the best talent from each trade to become Master Instructors. Not only did they teach the student, they motivated and inspired.

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L-R: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemmer

Josef Albers, a Master Art Instructor at Bauhaus once said, “Each color has different properties both as color and as buttery paste. Each has a different density; in spite of this, I want them all to behave; to do what I want and not what they want… One must taste and taste in order to cook just right… Until one has the experience of knowing he is being fooled by color, one cannot be expected to be very careful to look at things inquiringly. Only comparison entitles one to evaluation… I want to imbue others with my delight in the endless possibilities for new color experiences.”

Bauhaus in Art (paintings and drawings)

During this era, Kandinsky was best known for his geometric shapes in his art work. Using circles, squares, triangles, zig-zags, and blocks, he was able to visually express his creativity. One of his favorite shapes was the circle as you’ll notice in much of his work. He found more inner potential in the circle than with the other shapes. His most important piece while at Weimer was the ‘Yellow Red Blue’ from 1925 when he used the three primary colors to show the complex diversity within the color relationship.

While all of Bauhaus’ Master Instructors were amazing and all had their own unique style, they appeared to have much interest in color theory. “Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it. I know that it has hold of me forever… Color and I are one. I am a painter”. –Paul Klee

Gelb Rot Blau by Wassily Kandinsky10

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“Swinging” by Wassily Kadinsky12

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Black Relationship by Wassily Kandinsky14

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Black Frame by Wassily Kandinsky16

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Bauhaus Style Design18

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Gravitation by Wassily Kandinsky20

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Contrasting Sounds by Wassily Kandinsky22

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Small Worlds II by Wassily Kandinsky24

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Homage to Wassily Kandinsky26

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Colors by Maureen Bond28

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Howling Dog c.1928 by Paul Klee30

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Schlangenbeute c.1926 by Paul Klee32

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Stachel der Clown 1931 by Paul Klee34

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They’re Biting (1920) by Paul Klee36

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El Lissitzky “Proun”38

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Bauhaus Inspiration by AlexioLex40

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Ballet Costume Models42

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Bauhaus in Typography

It wasn’t until the summer of 1923 when a poster was made for the school that intrigued others to notice the unique typeset and design. Effective visual communication was a main focus when designing. You will see a balanced layout, vibrant colors, harmony, geometric shapes strong bars, bold and universal type. Using upper case or lower case fonts, but not a combination of the two, the typeset was clear and concise. The type was laid out in various ways. In addition to being horizontal and vertical orientation, Bauhaus is well-known for placing text at angles and also wrapping text around objects.

As the legacy continues, Bauhaus style typography is still used in modern day designs and posters. You will find their style on album covers, posters for movies, events, and signage. One of the most notable was a print designed for the Obama Presidential Campaign, a rally which was held in Berlin. It’s only a speculation, but using the Bauhaus influenced design could have been Obama’s way to show respect and appreciation for the people and the country.

Advertising Bauhaus Style44

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Leaflet design by László Moholy-Nagy46

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Wassily Kandinsky Post Card c.192348

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Poster Art by El Lissitzky50

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Bauhaus 9352

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Bauhaus (Cartel infográfico)54

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Escuela Suiza56

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Bauhaus Inspired58

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The “a” from Bauhaus60

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Bauhaus Inspired62

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Pioneers of Modern Typography64

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Obama Influenced by Bauhaus66

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Android Background68

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Futurism Poster70

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EL Poster by Seany Mac72

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Bauhaus Inspired by Curse of the Moon74

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AG Ideas by Matthew D. Jones76

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Bauhaus Inspired Poster78

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Bauhaus Inspired Concert Poster80

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Reflections82

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Utopia84

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Bauhaus Nude by Sharkaholic86

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Niendorf Store Signage88

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Where Form Meets Function by Danakaita90

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Bauhaus Redneck by Sir Rudolph92

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Where Form Meets Function by Danakaita94

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Joost Schmidt Inspired Poster96

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Charlie Chaplin Bauhaus Style98

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Nejmensi Dum100

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Ocean’s Twelve Poster102

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Bauhaus Inspired Design104

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Die Kameliendame106

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Euro Inspired by Bauhaus108

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Lissitzky Inspired Poster110

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PREIS LIST No. 2112

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Merz Magazine Cover by El Lissitzky114

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El Lissitzky116

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El Lissitzky118

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“Chad Gadya” by El Lissitzky120

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75 Years Bauhaus Designs122

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Deutschland Stamp124

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Deutschland Stamp126

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Deutschland Stamp128

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Deutschland Stamp130

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Deutchland Stamp132

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Inspiration Bauhaus Style134

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Bauhaus in The Crafts and Architecture

Many of us have seen Bauhaus’ famous teapot, ashtray, cradle, and even the chess set by Josef Hartwig carved out of pear wood, but one of the most beautiful pieces was the “African Chair” crafted by then student Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl. The throne-like chair has a colorful weave wrapped around a painted wood frame. The “African Chair” now finds its home at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin.

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Leaning away from the old Gothic architectural styles of Germany, Bauhaus exhibited a more simplistic approach. Modernism left out the decorative ornaments and trims which had no functional purpose. The new designs showed you can have style and cost effectiveness all in one.

Towards the end of Bauhaus’ days, an abundance of refugees moved to Tel Aviv. It is there where this new modern style of architecture was planned and executed for over 4,000 buildings. They needed something fast and cheap to build, and the Bauhaus style fit the bill. Eighty years later, the majority of those buildings still exist. This caused Tel Aviv to be named a UN Heritage Site for hosting a now rare architectural style in such a concentrated area.

Ninety years later, the influence from Bauhaus, the Master Instructors, and students, continue to inspire others around the globe.

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/17/lessons-from-swiss-style-graphic-design/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/26/retro-and-vintage-typography-showcase/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/06/08/retro-futurism-at-its-best-designs-and-tutorials/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/25/breathtaking-typographic-posters/
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtk/2262014039/in/pool-the_real_bauhaus
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtk/2262014039/in/pool-the_real_bauhaus
  7. 7 http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/image001.jpg
  8. 8 http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/image001.jpg
  9. 9 http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/image001.jpg
  10. 10 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/work-52.php
  11. 11 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/work-52.php
  12. 12 http://www.shafe.co.uk/crystal/images/lshafe/Kandinsky_Swinging_1925.jpg
  13. 13 http://www.shafe.co.uk/crystal/images/lshafe/Kandinsky_Swinging_1925.jpg
  14. 14 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/images/works/214.jpg
  15. 15 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/images/works/214.jpg
  16. 16 http://www.globalgallery.com/prod_images/600/bm-k725.jpg
  17. 17 http://www.globalgallery.com/prod_images/600/bm-k725.jpg
  18. 18 http://www.pdf-lib.ru/wp-content/gallery/peter/061.jpg
  19. 19 http://www.pdf-lib.ru/wp-content/gallery/peter/061.jpg
  20. 20 http://imagecache.allposters.com/images/pic/IMC/dp194~Gravitation-Posters.jpg
  21. 21 http://imagecache.allposters.com/images/pic/IMC/dp194~Gravitation-Posters.jpg
  22. 22 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/work-237.php
  23. 23 http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/work-237.php
  24. 24 http://www.abcgallery.com/K/kandinsky/kandinsky1.html
  25. 25 http://www.abcgallery.com/K/kandinsky/kandinsky1.html
  26. 26 http://www.imagekind.com/showartwork.aspx?IMID=ADL_AA-WP063
  27. 27 http://www.imagekind.com/showartwork.aspx?IMID=ADL_AA-WP063
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/maureenbond/3490922333/
  29. 29 http://www.flickr.com/photos/maureenbond/3490922333/
  30. 30 http://www.artsmia.org/viewer/detail.php?v=12&id=1318
  31. 31 http://www.artsmia.org/viewer/detail.php?v=12&id=1318
  32. 32 http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_art.asp?recview=true&id=267386
  33. 33 http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_art.asp?recview=true&id=267386
  34. 34 http://media2.moma.org/collection_images/resized/905/w500h420/CRI_151905.jpg
  35. 35 http://media2.moma.org/collection_images/resized/905/w500h420/CRI_151905.jpgl
  36. 36 http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/b/bauhaus.html
  37. 37 http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/b/bauhaus.html
  38. 38 http://zurich.art49.com/art49/art49zurich.nsf/0/503DC6CE10C4861BC1256FDA003E5AF0/$file/lissitzky.jpg
  39. 39 http://zurich.art49.com/art49/art49zurich.nsf/0/503DC6CE10C4861BC1256FDA003E5AF0/$file/lissitzky.jpg
  40. 40 http://alexiolex.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-34220512
  41. 41 http://alexiolex.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-34220512
  42. 42 http://www.thearttribune.com/spip.php?page=docbig&id_document=678
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  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/35617001@N02/3297165580/in/set-72157614565413098/
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  50. 50 http://histoforum.digischool.nl/ckv/images/lissitzky.jpg
  51. 51 http://histoforum.digischool.nl/ckv/images/lissitzky.jpg
  52. 52 http://benedictbatumbakal.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-93-93564106
  53. 53 http://benedictbatumbakal.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-93-93564106
  54. 54 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mezyar/3596634496/
  55. 55 http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2469/3596634496_c2d38d363f.jpg?v=0
  56. 56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mezyar/3595799759/in/set-72157607589183562/
  57. 57 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3616/3595799759_4e6a7e2201.jpg?v=0
  58. 58 http://calitreview.com/
  59. 59 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3616/3595799759_4e6a7e2201.jpg?v=0
  60. 60 http://inspireme.lasoeurkaramazov.net/public/Posts/Bauhaus_a.jpg
  61. 61 http://inspireme.lasoeurkaramazov.net/public/Posts/Bauhaus_a.jpg
  62. 62 http://opuscole.com/gpage2.html
  63. 63 http://opuscole.com/gpage2.html
  64. 64 http://book.yoyobao.com/628835/
  65. 65 http://www.bookschina.com/cover1/2006/061221/1837103.jpg
  66. 66 http://www.jockohomo.com/datapanik/?p=2650
  67. 67 http://www.jockohomo.com/ximage/july08/garten.jpg
  68. 68 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GsJ0PZjfZPw/SPjFXaeK0XI/AAAAAAAAA8M/Rmq7xvJtNIE/s400/AndroidBackground1.jpg
  69. 69 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GsJ0PZjfZPw/SPjFXaeK0XI/AAAAAAAAA8M/Rmq7xvJtNIE/s400/AndroidBackground1.jpg
  70. 70 http://www.yskira.com/mag/2009/02/20/europe-celebrates-100-years-of-futurism/
  71. 71 http://www.yskira.com/mag/2009/02/20/europe-celebrates-100-years-of-futurism/
  72. 72 http://seany-mac.deviantart.com/art/quot-EL-quot-poster-42351022
  73. 73 http://seany-mac.deviantart.com/art/quot-EL-quot-poster-42351022
  74. 74 http://curseofthemoon.deviantart.com/art/bauhaus-69245492
  75. 75 http://curseofthemoon.deviantart.com/art/bauhaus-69245492
  76. 76 http://matthewdjones.deviantart.com/art/AG-Ideas-Poster-Bauhaus-esq-55633881
  77. 77 http://matthewdjones.deviantart.com/art/AG-Ideas-Poster-Bauhaus-esq-55633881
  78. 78 http://dt1087.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Poster-52653716
  79. 79 http://dt1087.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Poster-52653716
  80. 80 http://postercabaret.com/bauhaus1.aspx
  81. 81 http://postercabaret.com/bauhaus1.aspx
  82. 82 http://www.vtspencer.com/images/fullsize/ZwartPoem.html
  83. 83 http://www.vtspencer.com/images/fullsize/ZwartPoem.html
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/527963945/
  85. 85 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/527963945/
  86. 86 http://sharkaholic.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Nude-59304920
  87. 87 http://sharkaholic.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Nude-59304920
  88. 88 http://www.flickr.com/photos/56308526@N00/370310892
  89. 89 http://www.flickr.com/photos/56308526@N00/370310892
  90. 90 http://www.danakaita.com/bauhaus/
  91. 91 http://www.danakaita.com/bauhaus/
  92. 92 http://sir-rudolph.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Redneck-107890700
  93. 93 http://sir-rudolph.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Redneck-107890700
  94. 94 http://flipx3ro.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Poster-61094658
  95. 95 http://flipx3ro.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Poster-61094658
  96. 96 http://zeke.sikelianos.com/tag/bauhaus/
  97. 97 http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/3168007296_fc933def4e_o.jpg
  98. 98 http://drussila.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Charlie-Chaplin-8565699
  99. 99 http://drussila.deviantart.com/art/Bauhaus-Charlie-Chaplin-8565699
  100. 100 http://abovethelip.blogspot.com/2008/10/una-de-constructivismo.html
  101. 101 http://abovethelip.blogspot.com/2008/10/una-de-constructivismo.html
  102. 102 http://blog.livedoor.jp/rothko/archives/2005-01.html
  103. 103 http://blog.livedoor.jp/rothko/5852770f.jpg
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  106. 106 http://ilovebreda.unblog.fr/tag/typographisme/
  107. 107 http://ilovebreda.unblog.fr/tag/typographisme/
  108. 108 https://www.muenzauktion.com/noering/item_print.php5?lang=es&id=132
  109. 109 https://www.muenzauktion.com/noering/pic/brd%C2%B0_10_EUR_04_bauhaus_st_mg...jpg
  110. 110 http://charlesrezandi.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/lissitzkysample.jpg
  111. 111 http://charlesrezandi.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/lissitzkysample.jpg
  112. 112 http://www.russianartandbooks.com/russianart/images/items/00756R.jpg
  113. 113 http://www.russianartandbooks.com/russianart/images/items/00756R.jpg
  114. 114 http://greenlanddesign.org/coleg/2009/01/dada/
  115. 115 http://greenlanddesign.org/coleg/2009/01/dada/
  116. 116 http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images/424713569/405422.jpg
  117. 117 http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images/424713569/405422.jpg
  118. 118 http://www.belarusguide.com/images/paintings/Lissitzky/dg1.jpg
  119. 119 http://www.belarusguide.com/images/paintings/Lissitzky/dg1.jpg
  120. 120 https://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?artistFilterInitial=V&criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A3569&page_number=32&template_id=1&sort_order=1
  121. 121 https://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?artistFilterInitial=V&criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A3569&page_number=32&template_id=1&sort_order=1
  122. 122 http://www.mobilier-designer.fr/
  123. 123 http://www.mobilier-designer.fr/
  124. 124 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus1.jpg
  125. 125 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus1.jpg
  126. 126 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus2.jpg
  127. 127 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus2.jpg
  128. 128 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus3.jpg
  129. 129 http://lricharz.free.fr/briefmarkBauhaus3.jpg
  130. 130 http://www.akh.de/media/images/Briefmarken/Birefmarke%20Bauhaus%20Dessau.jpg
  131. 131 http://www.akh.de/media/images/Briefmarken/Birefmarke%20Bauhaus%20Dessau.jpg4
  132. 132 http://www.akh.de/media/images/Briefmarken/Briefmarke%20Bauhausstaetten.jpg
  133. 133 http://www.akh.de/media/images/Briefmarken/Briefmarke%20Bauhausstaetten.jpg
  134. 134 http://www.flickr.com/photos/40762288@N03/3753904133/sizes/o/
  135. 135 http://www.flickr.com/photos/40762288@N03/3753904133/sizes/o/
  136. 136 http://www.curatedobject.us/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/14/afrikanischer_stuhl_96.jpg

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  1. 1

    Thanks Smashing Magazine gave me such a valuable art document. Really inspired!

    0
  2. 52

    Tribute to the Bauhaus Spirit: “”Intuitive Construction Asymptotic Perceptions” from the Bauhaus 9090 exhibition (90 years – 90days)
    organized by the Borderbend Arts Collective and the Gropius in Chicago Coalition.
    http://maddart.blogspot.com/2009/09/b09.html

    -1
  3. 103

    Wow my poster is rigth there! LOL Fantastic post about the Bauhaus, I´m really honored for been feature here but next time let me know please so I can make a journal about it.

    -1
  4. 154

    how about some pictures of their industrial design and architecture?

    -1
  5. 205

    nice =]

    -1
  6. 256

    Raina Van Cleave

    March 23, 2010 12:05 pm

    I really found the examples of Bauhaus art in this article inspiring. I loved the mixture of modern and old school artwork as well. I especially liked the Charlie Chaplin Bauhaus inspired poster.

    -1
  7. 307

    Some of the best design on earth

    -1
  8. 358

    Photos of industrial design at the Bauhaus send me’m grateful

    -1
  9. 409

    I have to inspired from this Bauhaus for designing dress…………………2013
    very interesting form are here in this graphic design.

    -3

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