Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Bauhaus manifesto 1919

The complete building is the final aim of the visual arts. Their noblest function was once the decoration of buildings.

Today they exist in isolation, from which they all can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew the composite character of a building as an entity. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit that it lost when it became a "salon art." The old art schools were unable to achieve this unity and, after all, how could they, since art cannot be taught? They must be absorbed once more by the workshop.

This world of designers and decorators, who only draw and paint, must finally become one of builders again. If the young person who feels within him the urge to create again, as in former times, begins his career by learning a handicraft, the unproductive artist will, in the future, no longer remain condemned to the creation of mediocre art, because his skill will redound the benefit of the handicrafts, in which he will be able to produce things of excellence.

Architects, sculptors, painters, we must all turn to the crafts! Art is not a profession.
There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman.
The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, moments beyond
the control of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But
proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies a source of creative

Let us create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions that raise an
arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist. Together let us conceive and create the new
building of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one
unity and which will rise one day toward heaven from the hands of a million workers, like
the crystal symbol of a new faith.


The National Bauhaus at Weimar grew out of the merger of the former Grandducal
Saxonian School of Graphic Arts and the Grandducal Saxonian School of Arts and Crafts,
with the addition of a new department for architecture.

Objectives of the Bauhaus.

The Bauhaus strives to reunite arts and crafts – sculpture, painting, applied art, and
handicrafts – as the permanent elements of a new architecture.

The ultimate, though distant aim of the Bauhaus is the Einheitskunstwerk (Uniform
Work of Art) – the great construction that recognizes no boundaries between monumental
and decorative art.

The Bauhaus wants to educate architects, painters and sculptors of all sorts to
become qualified craftsmen or independent creative artists. It also aspires to establish a
study group of leading artists who will be able to design buildings in their entirety – from
rough brickwork to completion, including embellishments and furnishings that reflect a
similar spirit and unity.

Principles of the Bauhaus.

Art in itself is beyond all methods; it cannot be taught. However, one can teach a
trade. Architects, painters, sculptors are artisans in the true sense of the word, therefore
the thorough mechanical training of all such students in workshops is an indispensable
foundation for all creative activities. (Their own workshops should be completed gradually,
and apprenticeships should be entered into with outside workshops.) The school is the
servant of the workshop.
One day the two will merge into one. Therefore there are no teachers and pupils at
the Bauhaus, but masters, journeymen, and apprentices.

Teaching methods at the Bauhaus.

The manner of teaching arises from the nature of the workshop: organic form
developed from mechanical knowledge; elimination of all rigidity; emphasis on creativity;
freedom of individuality, but strict scholarship.
Masters and journeymen are examined according to the regulations of the guilds by
masters of the Bauhaus or outside masters from the trade guilds. Students participate in
the projects of the masters.
There is common planning of extensive building projects – popular and cultural
buildings – with utopian aims. Allmasters and students collaborate on these projects, aiming
for eventual harmony of all elements and parts pertaining to the construction. There is
continuous contact with the country's leading experts on trade and industry, as well as with
the public, through exhibitions and other events.
New experiments arecarried on to solve the problem of exhibiting two- and threedimensional
art in an architectonic frame. Finally, friendly relations are fostered between
masters and students outside of the work by means of theater parties, lectures, poetry
readings, concerts, and fancy dress balls.

Scope of instructions at the Bauhaus.
Teaching at the Bauhaus embraces all practical and scientific fields of creative production: architecture, painting, sculpture, and related handicrafts.
Students are taught a trade as well as drawing and painting, and also scientific theory.

1. Workshops – be it Bauhaus workshops or others, where students are obligated by contracts – comprise:
A. Sculptors, stonemasons, stucco workers, wood sculptors, potters, plasterers;
B. Blacksmiths, locksmiths, founders;
C. Carpenters;
D. Scene painters, glass painters, mosaic workers, enamel workers;
E. Etchers, wood engravers, lithographers, printers of fine art, engravers;
F. Weavers. The foundation of the Bauhaus teaching is instruction in a trade. Each student has to learn a trade.

2. Instructions in drawing and painting include:
A. Free sketching from memory and imagination;
B. Drawing and painting of heads, life models, and animals;
C. Drawing and painting of landscapes, figures, plants, and stilI life;
D. Compositions;
E. Execution of mural paintings, plaques, and decorated chests;
G. Lettering;
H. Construction and projection drawing; Design of exteriors, gardens and interior architecture;
J. Design of furniture and commodities.

3. Instructions in the scientific and theoretical arts include:
A. Art history – emphasizing not a history of styles but the understanding of historical
working methods and techniques;
B. Science of materials;
C. Anatomy – with live models;
D. Physical and chemical theory of colors;
E. Scientific methods of painting;
F. Fundamentals of bookkeeping, drawing-up of contracts, contracts for the building of
G. Single lectures on subjects of general interest in the fields of art and science. Workdistribution
Plan The teaching is divided into three sections:
(1) instruction for apprentices;
(2) instruction for journeymen; and
(3) instruction for junior masters.
The details of education within the framework of the general program and the workdistribution
plan, which has to be newly set up for each semester, are left to the judgement
of the individual masters.

In order to provide the students with the most multifaceted, extensive technical and
artistic education, the work-distribution plan is so arranged that each prospective architect,
painter, or sculptor may also participate in some of the other courses.
Enrollment and Tuition. Space permitting, any person whose basic training is considered
sufficient by the master counsel is admitted regardless of age or sex. The annual tuition fee
is 180 marks (with the increased earnings of the Bauhaus, this should be gradually
eliminated). In addition a single admission fee of twenty marks has to be paid.
Foreigners pay double. Inquiries are to be made to the Secretariat of the National
Bauhaus at Weimar.

April 1919. The Administration of the National Bauhaus at Weimar.

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