Benedictine monks, books and Bogler
In the spotlight: Rhineland-Palatinate
The Maria Laach Benedictine monastery is embedded in the rolling hills of the Eifel landscape. Built in the High Middle Ages, it still attracts visitors seeking peace and contemplation today. The monks work in the gardens, the monastery fishery, the carpentry and the orchard. Moreover, Maria Laach continues to be a place that is defined by arts and crafts, as the artisanal blacksmith, sculpture studio, bookbindery and ceramics workshop show. The monastery workshop stands for new forms, while also preserving the heritage of the Bauhaus artist and Laach monk Father Theodor Bogler. A large stock of sketches, designs and originals by Bogler still exist. The ceramics workshop uses that great resource and works using exactly the same techniques that Bogler experimented with at the Bauhaus: both traditionally at the wheel and in moulding processes. Until February 20, 2020, the exhibition “Ashes or fire – Bauhaus ceramic artists and their successors” documents the development stages of the Bauhaus based on originals and replicas of works by Theodor Bogler and Otto Lindig, as well as combining them with new works by contemporary artists. One special aspect of the exhibition is that you can hold individual pieces in your hands: touching is explicitly permitted!
Until October 12, the Pfalzbibliothek in Kaiserslautern is focusing on the “Bauhaus in Books”. The librarians have explored their stock of books, seeking everything relevant to Modernity. The literature demonstrates how art, architecture, industrial design, typography and layout were taught and lived out at the Bauhaus.
Since you’re visiting Kaiserslautern, a detour to the nearby Eselsfürth, a former climatic health resort northeast of the city, is worthwhile. In Eselsfürth, hidden behind deciduous trees, is the Villa Max Gläser. The strictly cuboid building is one of the few examples of New Building in Kaiserslautern. The client Max Gläser was a well-known enamel producer. Gläser contracted the Stuttgart architect Hans Herkommer to build a home for him that could also be used as a picture gallery. Thus, the design makes a clear distinction between separate areas: art and presentation, living and sleeping, and management. A three-storey tower accommodates the management rooms. The stately area forms the two-storey central block. Visitors can only look over the garden fence, but the detour to this preservation-listed example of New Building is still rewarding, despite the fact that it is in rather a poor condition.
The J. Kreutzenberger winery has a powerful, radiant expression and is a stop on the “Grand Tour of Modernity”. Situated in the vineyards of Kindenheim, it attracts many visitors interested in classic Modern architecture. In 1929, the architect Otto Prott designed the building in the social realist style known as “Neue Sachlichkeit”. The two-storey building has white plaster façades, with rounded edges and two rows of sweeping window bands. The open, flat roof with terraces, the balcony and a broad façade canopy towards the street structure the cuboid building.
The Grand Tour also includes the administrative university in Speyer. The university campus was built in the late 1950s on a green belt on the outskirts of the city. It was designed by Sep Ruf, the architect of the Chancellor’s residence in Bonn known as the “Kanzlerbungalow”. With its elegant, glazed, flat buildings, the campus refers to the Bauhaus and the German social realism (“Neue Sachlichkeit”) of the 1920s. Ruf considered it especially important to achieve fluent, harmonious interrelationships between the architecture and nature. Large glass walls and projecting roofs formally dissolve the boundaries between the surrounding park landscape and the buildings. The green spaces are part of the architecture, including the three atrium-like inner courtyards.
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The bauhaus100 newsletter will be circulated from time to time with news about the Bauhaus Centenary 2019.
The Bauhaus existed for only 14 years in Germany, but for 100 years its ideas have now been passed on and its products relaunched, imitated and further developed. Marking the centenary of the Bauhaus’s founding, the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung’s exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie is presenting famous, familiar and forgotten Bauhaus originals and recounting the history behind the objects. Around 1,000 exhibits will be on display: art and design from the Bauhaus-Archiv’s collection, exceptional loans from international collections and artistic positions which take a new look at the Bauhaus legacy.
Plastics in the Bauhaus: the earthiness of early polymer composites
Conservators at the Bauhaus Dessau do not only handle steel, glass, or concrete, but also plastics such as Triolin. How far are they willing to let plastics show their age? And what does the centenary imply for future conservation work?