Bauhaus in Britain

In the intervals of going to the Maastricht art fair, I have been reading Alan Powers’s book on the reception of bauhaus ideas in Britain in the 1930s – Bauhaus Goes West: Modern Art and Design in Britain and America. The myth is that Britain provided an inhospitable environment to Gropius & co., but Powers demonstrates very clearly how Gropius was greeted on his arrival at Victoria Station by a welcoming party, consisting of Jack Prichard, who housed him and Ise at little or no cost in the Lawn Road flats, found him work and introduced him to other architects, and P. Morton Shand, who had already written extensively on German architecture in Architectural Review and was to translate Gropius’s New Architecture and the Bauhaus, published by Faber and Faber in 1935. When Gropius left for Harvard in 1937, Prichard organised a dinner for 100 of his artist and scientist friends at the Trocadero with a menu designed by László Moholy-Nagy. So, it’s hard to view Gropius and the many other graduates of the Bauhaus who emigrated to London, including Breuer and Moholy-Nagy as wholly unappreciated.

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2 thoughts on “Bauhaus in Britain

  1. marinavaizey says:

    The marvel of Fiona MacCarthy’s wonderfully readable biography is the detail and she makes it very clear that Gropius was warmly welcomed by the avant garde intelligentsia of whatever you want to call it and integrated as much as possible; but there was a reason so many of them crossed the Atlantic – not enough work – let alone eventually the threat of war – as there was also all too little for their counterparts in the UK. I am much looking forward to Alan Powers’ book as he is a superb architectural historian….

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