German graphic design of the early 20th century
The Bauhaus movement was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius with a vision of bridging the divide between fine arts and crafts. Students learned to create objects for mass-market production that were at once aesthetic, functional and innovative, thus bringing art into everyday life. The style is very modern, a simple aesthetic with clean lines and extensive use of innovative materials such as steel and glass.
Over the years, the school evolved. The arrival in 1928 of its new director, Hannes Meyer, saw the school take a radical turn. He wanted to move towards ever simpler and more functional designs, accessible to even the poorest sections of society. Finally came the last director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who was in charge of the school until it closed in 1933.
The Bauhaus school was no more, but its spirit lived on! Many of its students and teachers fled Germany during the Nazi regime and spread their ideas around the world.