Walter Gropius: Seven Facts About the Founder of the Bauhaus School

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Seven Facts About the German Architect Walter Gropius

Walter Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School. Find out more about him through the following facts:

What is Bauhaus? Bauhaus describes a fusion between art and crafts. Founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany, the Bauhaus School was an innovative art institution which aimed to overcome social differences by designing inexpensive and functional yet modern products for the industry. Walter Gropius was founder and director of the Bauhaus School between 1919 and 1928.

  • Gropius was born in 1883 in Berlin into an upper-middle-class family. His great uncle was the German architect Martin Gropius, who designed the Royal Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin.
  • Walter Gropius didn’t finish his architectural studies and instead joined the architectural office of respectable architect Peter Behrens in 1907.
  • He was married twice. Walter Gropius first marriage was with Alma Mahler in 1915. The two had a daughter but divorced in 1920. The former wife of the composer Gustav Mahler, Alma Mahler, was considered a femme fatale. She and Gropius were said to have an affair even when Alma was still in her marriage with Gustav Mahler, who died in 1911. In 1923, Walter Gropius married the bookseller and Journalist Ise Frank with who he adopted the nine-year-old Ati.
  • Gropius was part of a group which stood against the personality of artists and dissolution of the current foundations of architecture.
  • Gropius Bauhaus School promoted the intellectual exchange of pupils and teachers which he called “character research”. The doctrine was not completely established and should first be invented through research and experimentation.
  • In 1934, a year after the forced shut down of the Bauhaus School due to the Nazi Regime, Gropius emigrated – first to the UK, then to the US. Here, he worked as a professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Since 1938, he was head of the architecture department there.
  • Until his death in 1969, he continued spreading the idea of Bauhaus.

Featured image (cropped): Walter Gropius – Louis HeldPublic Domain

September 23, 2019
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