Gropius, Walter

(1883-1969)
   architect; director of the Bauhaus.* The son of a Berlin* architect, he began his own architectural studies in 1903 at Munich's Technische Hochschule. During 1906-1907 he constructed the first buildings of his own design for an uncle in Pomerania. While working in Berlin in 1908-1910 as chief assistant to Peter Behrens,* he became friends with Lud-wig Mies.* Establishing a practice in 1910 with Adolf Meyer, he designed the glass and concrete Fagus-Werk, a shoelast factory in Alfeld an der Leine, and a model factory for the 1914 Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne. His style, which combined modern building materials with an aesthetic of geometrical sobriety, was well established by this time.
   Gropius's Hussar Regiment was mobilized in August 1914, and he spent most of the next four years at the front. During a hard-won furlough in 1915 he married Alma Mahler, widow of Gustav Mahler. They were rarely together, and Alma s restlessness resulted in their divorce after the war. He had already been offered direction of Weimar's Kunstgewerbeschule in 1914 and was asked by the Grossherzog of Saxe-Weimar to direct both the Kunstgewerbeschule and Weimar s Kunstakademie in late 1918. When the revolution captured his imag-ination, he went to Berlin, where, with Bruno Taut* and the critic Adolf Behne, he founded the Arbeitsrat für Kunst.* Back in Weimar in April 1919, he con-solidated the two institutions into the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar and launched an effort to unify artistry and craftsmanship. For several years Gropius led a multifaceted life as director, teacher, fund-raiser, and political buffer; he also reestablished his prewar practice with Meyer. In 1923, when the authorities demanded evidence of the school s accomplish-ment, he staged an exhibit documenting five years of work: "Art and Technol-ogy—a New Unity." But growing political enmity led him to move the Bauhaus to Dessau. After he designed the school s glass and steel buildings—inaugurated in December 1926—he fashioned a new course devoted to Gesamtkunstwerk, the "total work of art. The concept called for the collaborative effort of ar-chitects, painters, and other craftsmen while stressing the need for a total com-munity to meet political, social, and economic challenges. His work brought reality to his philosophy, as he designed low-income housing in Dessau, for the Siemensstadt in Berlin, and for the Werkbund s housing exhibit of 1927.
   Weary of political vilification and anxious to return to full-time practice, Gro-pius left the Bauhaus in 1928. After endorsing Hannes Meyer as his successor (a commendation he later regretted), he devoted his energies to lectures, articles, and practice. In 1934 he settled in England and emigrated to the United States in 1937. He eventually joined Harvard's School of Design and inspired a second generation of young architects. Lyonel Feininger,* a Bauhaus artist, once wrote that Gropius "works until three in the morning, hardly sleeps at all, and when he looks at you his eyes shine more than anyone else s (Laqueur).
   REFERENCES:Giroud, Alma Mahler; Lane, Architecture and Politics; Laqueur, Weimar; Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects; Neumann, Bauhaus; Pehnt, Expressionist Archi-tecture.

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

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  • Gropius, Walter — ▪ German American architect Introduction in full  Walter Adolph Gropius  born May 18, 1883, Berlin, Ger. died July 5, 1969, Boston, Mass., U.S.   German architect and educator who, particularly as director of the Bauhaus (1919–28), exerted a… …   Universalium

  • GROPIUS, Walter —     (1883 1969)    Walter Gropius, the leading designer of the Bauhaus School in Dessau, helped to bring graphic design to the forefront of artistic importance. He began his career by opening an architectural office with Adolf Meyer, and the… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Gropius, Walter — ► (1883 1969) Arquitecto alemán. Su primer edificio importante fue la fábrica de calzado Fagus en Ahlfeld an der Leine (1911 13), a la que siguió el pabellón para la Exposición del Werkbund (1914). En 1918 asumió la dirección de la Escuela de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gropius, Walter —    см. Гропиус, Вальтер …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Gropius, Walter — (1883 1969); Architekt (u. a.: Fagus Werke in Alfeld mit Adolf Meyer und Bauhaus in Dessau, 1925) und Architekturtheoretiker (Bauhausmanifest, 1919) …   Erläuterung wichtiger Begriffe des Bauwesens

  • Gropius, Walter — (1883 1969); Architekt (u. a.: Fagus Werke in Alfeld mit Adolf Meyer und Bauhaus in Dessau, 1925) und Architekturtheoretiker (Bauhausmanifest, 1919) …   Erläuterung wichtiger Begriffe des Bauwesens mit Abbildungen

  • Gropius, Walter Adolf — SUBJECT AREA: Architecture and building [br] b. 18 May 1883 Berlin, Germany d. 5 July 1969 Boston, USA [br] German co founder of the modern movement of architecture. [br] A year after he began practice as an architect, Gropius was responsible for …   Biographical history of technology

  • Gropius, Walter (Adolph) — born May 18, 1883, Berlin, Ger. died July 5, 1969, Boston, Mass., U.S. German U.S. architect and educator. The son of an architect, he studied in Munich and Berlin and in 1907 joined the office of Peter Behrens. In 1919 he became director of the… …   Universalium

  • Gropius, Walter (Adolph) — (18 may. 1883, Berlín, Alemania–5 jul. 1996, Boston, Mass., EE.UU.). Arquitecto y docente alemán estadounidense. Hijo de arquitecto, estudió en Munich y Berlín, y en 1907 se unió al estudio de Peter Behrens. En 1919 llegó a ser director de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gropius,Walter Adolph — Gro·pi·us (grōʹpē əs), Walter Adolph. 1883 1969. German born American architect. Founder of the Bauhaus school of design, he exerted tremendous influence on modern architecture. * * * …   Universalium

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