As the name suggests, the Bauhaus-Archiv /Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin, is a commemorative archive of the eponymous school of architecture, design and art. Spanning the period between 1919 and 1933, the Bauhaus is one of the twentieth century’s most influential art movements initiated by Walter Gropius. Incidentally, the museum’s grey and white, block architecture is a variation on the founder’s design.
In spite of its relatively short lifespan and multiple relocations (from Weimar to Dessau and finally, Berlin), the Bauhaus educational philosophy earned much respect. Its aesthetic vision continues to shape modern-day design. Some of its reputed members include Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Lyonel Feininger.
With a repository of around 250 home and office objects, including the iconic Bauhaus lamp and the Wassily chair, the museum is dedicated to tracing the historic significance of the school. The space is a platform for research and debate, often sparked by exhibits of related international collections. In addition over 26,000 books, journals and catalogues, the specialist library is also stocked with manuscripts and letters.
If you happen to be in the city right now, catch ‘100 New Objects’, an ongoing special exhibition (till May 2015) featuring a selection of objects that have entered into the holdings of Berlin’s Bauhaus institution over the past decade either as purchases or gifts. Highlights include Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s architectural sketches and Lyonel Feininger’s drawings and woodcuts. The exhibit is being held as a celebration of a recently unveiled permanent exhibition – a new presentation of the ‘Bauhaus Collection’, which according to the museum website, “establishes clear focal points, including the design of living environments through the Bauhaus or the reception of the Bauhaus.” Among the rare displays are Alfred and Thekla Hess’s legendary guestbook and the complete birthday portfolio for Walter Gropius, which includes precious works by Vassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.