Bauhaus women

Bauhaus women

Ninety years after Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus, its female students sound as contemporary as they would today.

But The Guardian poses a question: if the world’s most famous modern art school accepted women, then why have we never heard of them?

The school’s fleeting existence (just 14 years), the rise of the anti-modern National Socialist movement and six years of world war may have been factors, but the uncomfortable truth is that the Bauhaus was never a haven of female emancipation.

More women than men applied to the school in 1919, and Gropius insisted that there would be “no difference between the beautiful and the strong sex” — those very words betraying his real views. Those of the “strong sex” were, in fact, marked out for painting, carving and, from 1927, the school’s new architecture department. The “beautiful sex” had to be content, mostly, with weaving.

Bauhaus Women: Art, Handicraft, Design, by Ulrike Muller, is published by Flammarion

Update: Details on MoMA exhibition and more at DO.