Bring Back the Bauhaus

The German National Tourist Office, (GNTO) Celebrates 100 years of the Bauhaus with exciting plans for the summer

Georgina Maddox

It is perhaps not a complete coincidence that the first Bauhaus exhibition outside Germany took place in Calcutta in 1922 under the leadership of Abanindranath Tagore—just three years after the movement took root in Weimar in 1919, under Walter Gropius, an architect. Both Gropius and the Tagore brothers were possessed by the same idea—of creating an all-encompassing art school that brought together design, craft and architecture under the rubric of high art, which prior to the movement, included only painting and sculpture.  The Bauhaus was the very first German art school reformed after World War I, to teach in the Weimar Republic.

The exhibition was organised by the Indian Society of Oriental Art, and has now become part of India’s legend. It featured drawings by Wassily Kadinsky, water-colours by Paul Klee, 29 woodcuts from Gerhard Marcks, paintings by Feininger and graphics from Georg Muche among others. Both Kandinsky and Klee belonged to the Munich-based Blue Rider group and was known as breakaway, non-conformist and Radical.

Cut to 2019, where Romit Theophilus, the Director for India, The German National Tourist Office, (GNTO) alongside Jasper Wieck, the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy and Hans Christian Winkler, the Spokesperson and head of Public Affairs, announce their big world-wide campaign to celebrate 100 years of the legendary Bauhaus movement in Weimar.

 “The Bauhaus is a lively school of ideas and a field of experimenting in the free and applied arts, design, architecture and educational methods,” says Theophilus.  As a form of celebration, the GNTO, and Destination Germany is inviting culturally minded travelers to explore the birthplace of Modernism. Theophilus also has a secret public art project tucked up his sleeve, for the city of Delhi in the month of September. He’s keeping the details under warps for now, but all we can say is that its going to be an immersive experience, involving the general public and brining art to the common man.  

The Bauhaus is a young art movement and During its short lifespan it moved to Dessau and then to Berlin. “The architecture, art and design that was created there is still revered around the world to this day,” says Wieck adding that the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), India forecasts a 6-8 percent growth in visitor overnights for the year 2019.

In addition to the Centenary Bauhaus campaign, the GNTO is developing marketing campaigns on the major trends of culture and nature. In 2019 the “German Summer Cities”, the touristic offerings of larger cities and those in more rural areas, take center stage as part of a worldwide marketing offensive.

These tour packages will be promoting sites like the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Court Garden of the Wurzburg Residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle, the epitome of a fairytale castle with its romanticized medieval design. Popular belief is that the castle’s designer, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is said to have sometimes driven workers to insanity with his extravagant requests.

The external appearance, is grand, but the interior conveys a sense of wonderment as well with its magnificent halls, an artificial stalactite cave, an opulent bed-room with an embellished bed that is thought to have taken four years to carve. Giant murals depicting scenes from medieval legends and operas by the King’s friend Richard Wagner decorate the castle walls.  Other contents of the campaign are the five clusters Urban city, Romantic, Holiday on the water, Sightseeing as well as Arts and Culture. “We are hope to promote Germany as a wedding destination,” says Theophilus.

This summer, one can look forward to a happy exchange of vibrant nightlife, prodigious art and glittering celebrations. In 1933 under Nazi pressure, the Bauhaus school was dissolved but it remains a touchstone for movements that revolutionise lifestyles. Even today, the legend of the Bauhaus continues to thrive, from Weimar to Calcutta and now New Delhi!

(Images courtesy, GNTB, and stock-photos)

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