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Bauhaus Goes West

Modern Art and Design in Britain and America

Alan Powers

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A timely re-evaluation of the Bauhaus’s relationship with modern art and design in Britain and the USA, published to mark the centenary of the school’s founding

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Bauhaus Goes West tells the fascinating story of the journey taken by the Bauhaus – both the concept behind the school and some of the individuals who represented it – from Germany to Britain and the United States. It is therefore a story of cultural exchange, not only between the Bauhaus émigrés and the countries to which they moved, but also in the other direction, focusing in particular on Britain. Most significantly, perhaps, it considers in detail the presence in the UK during the 1930s of three of the school’s most important figures – Gropius, Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy – using meticulous research to tell for the first time the stories of their British experiences in parallel. After considering some of the lesser-known Bauhäusler who stayed in Britain for life, the book concludes by returning to the lives of the main protagonists and their continuation of the Bauhaus ideals in America.

Taking as its starting point the cultural connection between Britain and Germany in the early part of the 20th century, Bauhaus Goes West offers a timely re-evaluation of the school’s influence on and relationship with modern art and design, offering fresh insights and challenging assumptions along the way.

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'In this comprehensive, weighty compendium, Powers traces the emigration of the minimalist ideology from Weimar to Britain in the 1920s, 1930s and onwards … In re-examining the relationship with Britain, Powers re-writes a chapter in the country’s history, asserting that the Bauhaus gave way to global innovation, beyond its prominence in Germany'

'Very good'
Financial Times

'A vigorously researched and rewarding investigation into what became of the Bauhaus as its prime movers left Nazi Germany and travelled west'

Times Literary Supplement

'Thoroughly researched and engaging ... A fascinating reassessment of modernism'
The Lady

'Sparky and rigorously researched … beautifully illustrated'
New Statesman

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.3 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Illustrations: 120

Publication date: 28 February 2019

ISBN: 9780500519929

Contents List

Introduction • 1. England and Germany • 2. Gropius Arrives • 3. Marcel Breuer • 4. Moholy-Nagy • 5. Finding English Modernism • 6. Other Bauhäusler in Britain • 7. O my America! • 8. Conclusion

About the Author

Alan Powers, author of Eric Ravilious: Artist and Designer, teaches, writes and curates on themes relating to twentieth-century art, architecture and design. He published Edward Ardizzone: Artist and Illustrator. in 2016, and Enid Marx: The Pleasures of Pattern in 2018.