Building the Bauhaus: The Movement That Transformed Modern Art and Design

Curious Minds Speaker Series
  • a building with the word Bauhaus on it


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Mar 14, 2023 1:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Mar 21, 2023 1:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Mar 28, 2023 1:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Apr 4, 2023 1:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Apr 11, 2023 1:30 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Tue, Apr 18, 2023 1:30 PM
Film Info


Tuesdays, March 14 - April 18, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM | REGISTER NOW

Not ready to commit? Single tickets are available at the box office on the day of class.

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Founded in Germany in 1919 and closed in 1933, the Bauhaus was the 20th century’s most influential school of art, architecture and design. In this new series from Curious Minds favourite Natalie Ribkoff (Around the World with Art Nouveau, Beyond the Wall: The Art and Architecture of Berlin), takes a vivid, slide-illustrated journey back to this cultural hotbed and the creative movement that sprung from its glass-walled façade in an age of social unrest.

As we examine the artworks and iconic designs of artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus’s founder, architect Walter Gropius, we’ll trace the emergence of a new, quintessentially modern aesthetic that shaped the course of art and design in the 20th century—and still shapes our world today.

The course is led by fine art advisor and art historian, Natalie Ribkoff. As a professional art advisor, Natalie has extensive experience providing art advice and collections management services to a number of Canadian corporations and private individuals. An energetic educator with a passion for the visual arts, Natalie has led popular Curious Minds courses on Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Chicago Architecture and the Art and Architecture of Berlin.

Course Registration: $69 (Hot Docs Members: $60, $48, Free)

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March 14: Origins of the Bauhaus

We’ll begin our series by examining the origins of the Bauhaus School and meet its charismatic founder, Walter Gropius. Inspired by the Bauhaus Manifesto, talented artists and craftsmen worked together to formulate a new method of art and design education that remains a model today. We’ll spend some time under the spell of the eccentric Johannes Itten whose innovative Preliminary Course inspired students to unlock their creative potential.

March 21 – Art and Technology: A New Unity

Responding to outside influences, including the Dutch de Stijl and Russian Constructivism, the Bauhaus moved away from expressionist experimentation to an emphasis on rational contemporary design for industrial production. A visit to the Haus am Horn Germany, offers insight into the great progress of the Weimar Bauhaus as they welcomed the world at the influential Art and Technology: A New Unity Exhibition of 1923.

March 28: Down the Road to Dessau

When the Bauhaus School relocated to the industrial city of Dessau in 1925, the new location provided an opportunity to put theory into practice. A collaborative effort produced a spectacular modern building that is regarded as one of the finest achievements of the Bauhaus school. Peering through the expansive glass walls, we’ll see some of the iconic designs produced in the workshops.

April 4: Following in the Founder’s Footsteps

In this lecture, we’ll explore the accomplishments of the directors that succeeded Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius after his departure in 1928. We’ll spend time with the unconventional Hannes Meyer whose mantra was “Necessities not Luxuries” and meet its final director, Mies van der Rohe, who popularized the phrase “Less is More.” With their radical changes to the curriculum, including the introduction of scientific analysis, they transformed the way that architecture is taught to this day.

April 11: Inspirational Women

Post-war ‘new women’ were drawn to the Gropius-led Bauhaus only to find that the opportunities to participate in creating the new artistic utopia were not quite as “equal” as advertised. We’ll meet some of the determined women students that overcame gender discrimination and went on to contribute to the history of art and design. We’ll examine some of the iconic objects that were produced in the workshops by trailblazing women artists including Marianne Brandt whose metal lamps continue to illuminate.

April 18: Bauhaus Everywhere

As the political situation deteriorated under Nazi rule, many of the teachers and former students of the Bauhaus were forced to flee Germany. We’ll follow the journeys of some of these notable émigrés, whose involvement in institutions of higher learning served to ensure that the Bauhaus curriculum and ideas would continue to have a major impact on architecture and design.