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International Decorative Art

Bauhaus, 1919–1933

The Bauhaus was a renowned art school, whose immense influence continues today. It was founded in April 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, when times were very difficult directly after World War I. It relocated to Dessau from 1925 to 1932, then moved to Berlin briefly until the Nazis closed it in April 1933. One of the most important philosophies of the Bauhaus was that of unity of the arts through craftsmanship or Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art). Geometric forms were the basis of most objects, sculptures, paintings and buildings. Primary colors, grey, black and natural metal patinas were widely used. Function was more important than decoration, leading to clean lines and simplicity of shapes.