Arbeitsrat fur kunst

(Working Council for Art)
   Modeled on the Workers and Soldiers Councils,* the Arbeitsrat was founded in Berlin* on 18 November 1918 by Walter Gropius,* Bruno Taut,* the painter Cesar Klein, and the architectural critic Adolf Behne and aimed to validate the place of modern art in postwar society. Its membership overlapped with that of the November-gruppe* and included many who had associated with Expressionism* before World War I. But it was dominated by architects, and it accepted Gropius s belief that the arts should be brought under architectural direction. More focused on application than the propaganda-oriented Novembergruppe, the council was first led by Taut. When Taut published a six-point Architekturprogramm in December 1918, the document was signed by 114 painters, publishers, critics, museum directors, and architects. Taut resigned on 1 March 1919 in favor of Gropius, with whom he had worked before the war.
   The Arbeitsrat staged exhibitions, held public lectures, and published books and pamphlets (e.g., Ja! Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fur Kunst). Among its visions was one calling for abolition of professorships in favor of the time-honored master-apprentice relationship traditional among artisans. Its manifesto, a "Call to All Artists in All Countries, exalted a socialist art that would be the "busi-ness of the entire People. When Gropius left in April 1919 to found the Bau-haus* in Weimar, Behne became the council s leader, but much of the spirit inspiring the Arbeitsrat was relocated to the Bauhaus. It disbanded on 30 May 1921.
   REFERENCES:Kaes, Jay, and Dimendberg. Weimar Republic Sourcebook; Lane, Archi-tecture and Politics; Long, German Expressionism; Pehnt, Expressionist Architecture; Weinstein, End ofExpressionism.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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