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Bauhaus exhibit celebrates design movement at Elmhurst Art Museum

The Whole World a Bauhaus will make one U.S. appearance

Courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum

After a slight transportation delay postponed the opening, the international exhibit The Whole World a Bauhaus debuted on Saturday at the suburban Elmhurst Art Museum.

Bauhaus was a school in Germany that only existed for 14 years, and closed in 1933 because of Nazi occupation. The design school had a profound influence on artistic approaches to industrialization and the modernist movement.

The internationally traveling exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the school and design that followed. Within eight chapters, the exhibit explores the avant-garde work, life and design thinking at the school. Photographs, design pieces and documents highlight the projects students and instructors produced to rethink the objects and materials around them.

On Saturday, March 2 at 1:30 pm the museum will host artists Assaf Evron and Claudia Weber who each have Bauhaus, site-specific projects in Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House next door to the Elmhurst Museum.

In addition, Elmhurst will have a few related programs in March and April including tours of McCormick House which will introduce Bauhaus concepts, a discussion and oral history of the McCormick House, and a lecture on the global impact of Bauhaus from Dr. Regina Bittner, head of the Academy of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. More information about those events can be found on the museum’s calendar.

Courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum

Architect Mies van der Rohe was the last director of the school before moving to Chicago a few years later. Bauhaus believed that everyday objects should be fused with thoughtful design—everything from baby cribs to kitchen stoves should have a sleek aesthetic. One popular example being modernist tubular steel furniture.

Other than Mies, there were several other prominent modern artists and architects who were shaped by Bauhaus including Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Josef and Anni Albers, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, and Lily Reich.

Elmhurst is fitting for the exhibition, it’s where the Mies van der Rohe McCormick Home lives. The low-slung house was moved next door to the museum from its original address and is just one of three homes designed by the architect.

The exhibit is open until April 20 at the Elmhurst Art Museum, which is just across the way from a Metra stop. It’s the only museum in the U.S. touring the exhibition. Admission is $12 and the museum is closed on Mondays.