Pioneers of a new world

The Bauhaus and the Dutch

Starting with the appointment of Walter Gropius to Weimar by the Flemish architect Henry van de Velde, to the obvious influence of Gerrit Rietvelds and the De Stijl group, to the personal teachings of such legendary modernists as Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg or J.J.P. Oud at the Bauhaus: The impulses coming from the Dutch language area were essential for the progress of the expressionistic university to an epitome of functional design. In the 1920s, Rotterdam was the most important city for the Nieuwe Bouwen style (the Dutch take on the International Style), and the city where modernism featured most prominently in its architecture and design. Social housing projects by Rotterdam’s City Architect J.J.P. Oud caught the attention of many German architects, including Walter Gropius. Cees van der Leeuw, director of the Van Nelle Factory, also became friends with the founder of the Bauhaus. Marcel Breuer, a former Bauhaus tutor, designed the Rotterdam branch of De Bijenkorf department store in 1957, a building that is emblematic of the city’s post-war reconstruction.

The exhibition “netherlands ⇄ bauhaus – pioneers of a new world” at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen follows up on this productive relationship by looking at 800 original works and objects. Through works of art, furniture, ceramics, textiles, photographs, typography and architecture, the exhibition reveals the influence of the Bauhaus in the Netherlands, and vice-versa. An interactive tour of ‘netherlands ⇄ bauhaus’ is available on small tablets, so that visitors can discover the network of connections behind the exhibition. The exhibition runs through 26 May 2019.

Foto: Aad Hoogendoorn
Foto: Aad Hoogendoorn
Foto: Aad Hoogendoorn
Foto: Aad Hoogendoorn

    [NF 2019, Translation: RHN]

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