A New Bauhaus Museum Worthy of Its Lineage
One hundred years after the opening of the original Bauhaus—the progressive German art school that championed Modernist art and craft as a democratizing force—the influences of figures like Josef and Anni Albers, Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky remain alive and well. Slick yet sturdy, functional yet beautiful, and seamlessly suited to the digital age, the Bauhaus movement was perhaps best described by the school’s founder, Gropius, as the “crystal symbol of the new faith of the future.”
Last month, in celebration of the centennial of the school’s founding, the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau opened its doors to the public. Housing the foundation’s collection, the museum was designed by Barcelona-based firm Addenda Architects, which created a stacked-glass-and-metal building within a building. Nestled beside a lush park, the structure emphasizes illusions of transparency and layered planes—elements reminiscent of the nearby original Bauhaus Dessau building itself. The unveiling arrives amid a year of festivals and events celebrating the centennial. If ever there were a time to visit Dessau, this fall is it. Here, some recommendations for what else to do while you’re there:
1. Visit the O.G. (Original Gropius) Bauhaus Building, home to the architecture school, which still operates there. Groppius Allee 38, bauhaus-dessau.de
2. Check out the Georgenkirche, a Dutch Baroque church, built in 1712. The opposite of the Bauhaus, basically. Georgenstr. 15
3. Stop by the Hugo Junkers Technical Museum, which houses the pioneering 20th-century inventor’s industrial equipment, machinery, engines, and even a wind tunnel he developed. Kühnauerstr. 161a, technikmuseum-dessau.org
4. Pack a couple books on the Bauhaus. Here, a spate of the newest ones: Haunted Bauhaus (MIT Press); Bauhaus Journal: 1926–1931 (Lars Müller Publishers); Bauhaus Goes West: Modern Art and Design in Britain and America (Thames & Hudson); Gropius: The Man Who Built the Bauhaus (Harvard University Press); and an oldie-but-goodie, now reissued, The ABC’s of Triangle, Square, Circle: The Bauhaus and Design Theory (Princeton Architectural Press).