What is Bauhaus? Google celebrates 100 years of German design movement

Google's doodle team is celebrating the 100th anniversary of German art and thought movement Bauhaus with a colorful homepage tribute reflecting its iconic contributions to modern architecture and design.

Staatliches Bauhaus, "both a school for the arts and a school of thought," was founded by architect Walter Gropius in April 1919 in Weimar, Germany, according to the Google blog. The school itself was active for only 14 years and had three campuses across the country, first in Weimar, then Dessau, and eventually in Berlin, where Nazi suppression led to its demise.

Its name is derived by inverting the German word "Hausbau" or "building of a house," a true depiction of the school's dedication to architecture as "the matrix of the arts," as Brittanica Encyclopedia reported.

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The school of design produced one of the most influential movements in modern art and architecture, a minimalist, industrial style that favored form and function over embellishment.

"This world of mere drawing and painting of draughtsmen and applied artists must at long last become a world that builds," Gropius wrote in a 1919 manifesto in which he encouraged a "return to the workshop." "When a young person who senses within himself a love for creative endeavor begins his career, as in the past, by learning a trade, the unproductive 'artist' will no longer be condemned to the imperfect practice of art because his skill is now preserved in craftsmanship, where he may achieve excellence."

Gropius also imagined a world for artists to promote functional and aesthetically pleasing products for all of society, not just a few high-end objects for the wealthy elite.

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Students at the school learned carpentry, metalwork, pottery, wall painting, weaving, stained glass, typography and more. After three years of mastering techniques and theories, students earned a journeyman’s diploma.

You may have heard of some of the prominent names to come out of Bauhaus including faculty members and renowned artists “Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, photographer and sculptor László Moholy-Nagy, graphic designer Herbert Bayer, industrial designer Marianne Brandt, and Marcel Breuer, whose Model B3 tubular chair changed furniture design forever,” Google noted.

While the original Bauhaus disbanded in August 1933 due to pressure from the Nazi regime, the movement lives on—at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Black Mountain College in North Carolina and White City in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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"Today, nearly every art curriculum includes foundation courses in which, on the Bauhaus model, students learn about the fundamental elements of design," according to Brittanica.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the movement, Germany recently opened a Bauhaus Museum in Weimar, the first dedicated space for the city's contributions to Bauhaus.

And when it opens this September, a second museum, the Bauhaus Museum Dessau, will feature 49,000 catalogued exhibits and the second-largest collection of Bauhaus-themed art.

Learn more about Bauhaus at google.com/doodles.