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From Arts & Crafts to the Bauhaus

21 October 2020 to 6 June 2021 at the Vienna Furniture Museum

Art and Design – a New Unity!

The Bauhaus was not just another art movement: in its fourteen years of existence (1919–1933) it also had huge political significance. Standing for an open society, it was democratic, international and diverse. Still of outstanding contemporary relevance, it is now the focus of a temporary exhibition at the Vienna Furniture Museum.

The myths and stories surrounding the Bauhaus are legion. Concepts such as the Bauhaus style or the ‘Bauhaus idea’ have become platitudes in current design discourse. The Bauhaus itself has become a myth, an icon of modernism, mistakenly framed both as its pinnacle and starting point.

Conceived by the Bröhan Museum, Berlin’s museum of Jugendstil, Art Deco and Functionalism, the exhibition From Arts and Crafts to the Bauhaus seeks to dispel many of these myths and to provide a contribution to categorizing the Bauhaus within the context of design history.

The exhibition explores the developments leading up to the Bauhaus, contextualizing it within the emergence of modernism across Europe and showing the decisive steps of this development from the Arts and Crafts movement, the Glasgow School, Viennese modernism, the Deutscher Werkbund and the Dutch De Stijl group to the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau.

The exhibition shows how the Bauhaus was influenced by the ideas fuelling these movements and how it initially struggled to develop its own independent formal language from this plethora of positions. 



The exhibition is divided into the following sections:

  • London 1851 and the critique of industrial manufacturing
  • William Morris
  • The Aesthetic Movement
  • The Arts and Craft Movement and the idea of the workshop
  • The English model and Vienna
  • Josef Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte
  • Van de Velde and Jugendstil
  • The Deutscher Werkbund
  • De Stijl
  • The Bauhaus

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