Beginner's guide

The Bauhaus was an art and design school in Germany whose importance is astonishing given its very brief and tenuous existence.

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László Moholy-Nagy, <i>Photogram</i>
László Moholy-Nagy, Photogram

László Moholy-Nagy's Photogram forces the viewer to question what a photograph is.

The Bauhaus and Bau
The Bauhaus and Bau

For Bauhaus designers, beauty was achieved through careful choices of materials, proportions, textures, and colors for the functional features of the objects.

The Bauhaus: Marcel Breuer
The Bauhaus: Marcel Breuer

“The Bauhaus believes the machine to be our modern medium of design and seeks to come to terms with it.”

The Bauhaus, an Introduction
The Bauhaus, an Introduction

Today, Bauhaus designs are so familiar and so simple that they don’t seem to have required a designer, but they were as radical in their time as they are commonplace now.

The Bauhaus: Marianne Brandt
The Bauhaus: Marianne Brandt

When female applicants at the Bauhaus threatened to equal or even outnumber male applicants, the masters at the school agreed to channel women into the pottery, bookbinding, and weaving workshops.

László Moholy-Nagy, <em>Telephone Pictures</em>
László Moholy-Nagy, Telephone Pictures

Moholy-Nagy claimed to create these objects without touching them or even seeing them—how does that work?

László Moholy-Nagy, <em>Climbing the Mast</em>
László Moholy-Nagy, Climbing the Mast

A worm’s eye view: this photograph upends our expectations, helping us think more deeply about seeing.

Paul Klee, <em>Twittering Machine (Die Zwitscher-Maschine)</em>
Paul Klee, Twittering Machine (Die Zwitscher-Maschine)

Klee playfully evokes sound, energy, and motion with these mischievous birds—all in two dimensions.

Lyonel Feininger, <em>Cathedral for Program of the State Bauhaus in Weimar</em>
Lyonel Feininger, Cathedral for Program of the State Bauhaus in Weimar

This woodcut embodies the hopes of the Bauhaus, a new German school for craft and architecture.

László Moholy-Nagy, <em>Composition A.XX</em>
László Moholy-Nagy, Composition A.XX

Moholy-Nagy influenced the Bauhaus in its shift toward industrial aesthetics and materials.

Selected Contributors