Merkel opens museum to mark centenary of design school

September 09, 2019

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BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prime minister of Saxony-Anhalt Rainer Haseloff and mayor of Dessau-Rosslau Peter Kuras pose in front of the Bauhaus Museum Dessau during its opening on Sunday.—AFP
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prime minister of Saxony-Anhalt Rainer Haseloff and mayor of Dessau-Rosslau Peter Kuras pose in front of the Bauhaus Museum Dessau during its opening on Sunday.—AFP

BERLIN: The eastern German city of Dessau marked the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school of design on Sunday with the opening of a new museum featuring a collection of exhibits and objects that tie in with the movement’s iconic buildings.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd at the opening of the Bauhaus Museum Dessau the school featured an avant-garde style that “we still really enjoy today.” The city was the school’s second home after it moved from Weimar, and the new museum building was designed by Barcelona’s addenda architects to interface with the city and nature.

Described as a “soaring concrete block enveloped in glass” in the heart of Dessau, “depending on the light, the surroundings are reflected more or less strongly in the glass facade or enable views through the building,” the museum said.

The opening exhibition tells the story of the famous school in Dessau, featuring more than 1,000 exhibits.

Rather than focusing on iconic designs and masters, the museum said the emphasis instead is the school and the students: “the daily reality of learning and teaching betw­een the poles of creative design and industrial prototype production, artistic experiment and economic pressure, educational inst­i­tution and emancipatory aspiration.” Bauhaus was founded in Weimar in 1919 under architect Walter Gropius as Germany grappled with its political future after World War I.

Weimar opened its own new museum earlier this year, showcasing many of the school’s items that blurred the lines between the artistic and the industrial.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2019