It was precisely this division that Gropius intended the Bauhaus to heal. “There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman,” he declared in his 1919 manifesto. Dismissing both the old academy model and the new regimented design classroom, he concluded by appealing to the vision of the medieval guild: “There are no teachers and pupils at the Bauhaus, but masters, journeymen, and apprentices.” But Gropius’ apprentices could no longer become twelfth-century stonecutters, and by the time of the Bauhaus’ move to Dessau in 1925, its ideal craftsman was an industrial designer, fashioning objects in metal, glass, and plastic for industrial production. Like Leonardo before him, Gropius insisted on first principles, but his were not those of disegno as figurative representation—a copy of this world made beautiful—but rather of design as the projection of a new world. Those principles were established in the Bauhaus’ famous Vorkurs, the foundation course taught over the years by Johannes Itten, Josef Albers, and László Moholy-Nagy. A comprehensive curriculum organized by materials and procedures followed from that foundation, a technique-based syllabus borrowed from the Gewerbeschulen and a format now standard in American art schools and university art departments.
- Portraits of the Artist - Lapham’s Quarterly a summary of the history of art pedagogies in the western tradtion.