Sunday, 21 April 2013

Re: Self Taught Architects

Amazingly there was no architecture course at the Bauhaus until 1927! And that was taught by the Swiss Communist Hannes Maeier. Gropius quit in disgust and frustration in 1928, knowing full well that the rightward drifting Dessau Mayor would reject the Bauhaus. 

Mies in Berlin had the problem that his first work (1926) was a Denkmal for the founders of the German Communist party. And Betrand Goldberg who was in the last Bauhaus class (1933) became Mies's Azubi and told me in our last meeting in 1995 that Mies had no credible answer to Hitler's propaganda minster, other than becoming a Nice Nazi, begging for commissions until 1937 when Gropius got him a commission for a Millionaire's summer place in Yellowstone.

We really need an honest bio of Mies who is an overrated architect who never got over his resentment at being a mason's son, resenting that he had to report to upper class Gropius when they both were Azubis for Peter Behrens in 1910. Goldberg was easily the greatest architect with a Bauhaus past. He never had a German retrospective! Nor did Marianne Brandt. 

Bauhaus historiography is distorted by guilt over the Nazi interlude. In my opinion! I came to Weimar because as a homeless kid in Depression Detroit (1930-45) I was thrilled to discover in graduate school that Gropius had created an art school to bring good design to the working classes. His leftist past (his Denkmal for the victims of the Kapp Putsch (1923) in Weimar Friedhof was destroyed by the Nazis) haunted him as it did Mies, as the Weimar Republic succumbed to Hilter's plans. 

The current Bauhaus Triad (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin) ignores Pius's original working class leftist ideals, reducing that ideal to upper middle class Tourism: more museums, less ideals! I call them Bauhustlers! 

I still believe in his original idealism. Only Omar Akbar did and stlll does. My interpretation of  Bauhaus history so upsets the Triad that they have all banned me from their press lists! What Mies did as a Nice Nazi in search of commissions is not nearly as culpable as the Triad's Nasty Nazi tactic of keeping me off their press list. Thanks for hearing my harangue!

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