Discover the highlights of the Bauhaus School and modernist design in Germany
Take in the major centres of Weimar and Dessau alongside the lesser-visited but culturally rewarding towns of Chemnitz, Gera and Jena
Study the art, architecture and design of the Bauhaus School and related artists, including creations by Walter Gropius, Henry van de Velde and Erich Mendelsohn
"Alan Powers - erudite, imaginative, well-connected..."
ACE customer on a previous Bauhaus tour with Alan Powers
Of all the avant-garde enterprises in art and design between the wars, the Staatliches Bauhaus provides a paradigm of modernism. The school taught the unity of art, craft and design with the aim of breaking down traditional disciplinary boundaries to achieve material and spiritual welfare. This tour offers the opportunity to explore not only the Bauhaus but also the wider artistic context of the movement.
The Bauhaus opened in 1919 under the directorship of Walter Gropius, taking over the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) building, designed by Henry van de Velde, its pre-1914 director. In Weimar, a city already famous for its associations with J W von Goethe and Friedrich Nietzsche, the Bauhaus can be seen in the context of German thinking about art, nature and politics.
In 1925, the school was transferred to Dessau, its most famous location, where Gropius designed a new building to house it which, in its restored state, powerfully evokes what it might have been like to study there. We look forward to visiting the new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, opened in 2019 to celebrate the Bauhaus centenary.
On this tour, we will visit these major centres, but also other cities in Thuringia and Saxony that reveal a wealth of 20th century treasures. The Margarete Reichardt Haus in Erfurt displays the looms and workshop of Margarete Reichardt (1907–1984), who studied at the Bauhaus Dessau a year after its opening. In Gera and Jena, our visits will include a finely restored villa by Henry van de Velde as well as Gropius’s pioneering Haus Auerbach.
In Chemnitz, we will visit the Gunzenhauser Museum with its wide collection of interwar paintings and a well-preserved 1935 swimming pool complex by the City Architect, Fred Otto. An optional tour of the Schocken department store’s exterior provides an excellent example of the expressive yet functional designs for which its architect, Erich Mendelsohn, was renowned.
Passing briefly through Berlin, we will see the exterior of another of Mendelsohn’s well-known designs, the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, still an operational solar observatory today.
Our journey will include stays in three or four-star hotels in the historical centres of Weimar, Chemnitz and Dessau.
Tour Director Alan Powers, PhD, studied History of Art at Cambridge University and is a specialist in the art, architecture and design of the 20th century. A former Chairman of the 20th Century Society, Alan’s wide-ranging research, curation and publication on varied topics pertaining to British art – including the Arts & Crafts movement, the experiences of 1930s German émigrés and the teaching of art and design – form the basis of his interest in the Bauhaus and contemporary movements in Germany. Alan’s book, Bauhaus Goes West, was published in 2019 to coincide with the centenary year.
Included: Return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not Included: Travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £215.