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Before the Bauhaus reevaluates the political, architectural, and artistic cultures of pre-World War I Germany. As contradictory and conflict-ridden as the German Second Reich itself, the world of architects, craftsmen and applied-arts “artists” were not immune to the expansionist, imperialist, and capitalist struggles that transformed Germany in the quarter-century leading up to the First World War. In this study, John Maciuika brings together architectural and design history, political history, social and cultural geography. He substantially revises our understanding of the roots of the Bauhaus and, by extension, the historical roots of twentieth-century German architecture and design. His book sheds new light on hotly contested debates pertaining to the history of Germany in the pre-World War I era, notably the issues surrounding “modernity” and “anti-modernity” in Wilhelmine Germany, the character and effectiveness of the government administration, and the role played by the nation’s most important architects, members of the rising bourgeois class, in challenging the traditional aristocracy at the top of the new German economic and social order.Read more
- A new synthesis of German history and German architectural and design history
- Exposes the Bauhaus foundation myths, and by extension the myths of a 20th century 'modernism triumphant' as well
- Places Germany's best-known early twentieth century architects and applied artists in an entirely new light
Reviews & endorsements
"Maciuika is well-informed and writes in a clear and scholarly way."
-Architectural ReviewSee more reviews
"Maciuka's book provides a long overdue account of some of the diverse tenets of the modern movement in German architecture and design that foregrounds the important interplay between individual reform efforts and state institutions....an invaluable contribution to the historiography of central European architecture and design that will hopefully trigger further studies of this crucial moment...."
-Sabine Wieber, Birkbeck College, University of London, H-German
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- Date Published: April 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521728225
- length: 402 pages
- dimensions: 253 x 177 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.83kg
- contains: 129 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: the politics of design reform in the German Kaiserreich. 1. Design reform in Germany's central and southern states, 1890–1914
2. The Prussian commerce ministry and the lessons of the British Arts and Crafts Movement
3. Prussian applied-arts reforms: culture, class, and the modern economy
4. The convergence of state and private reforms in the Deutscher Werkbund
5. Hermann Muthesius: architectural practice between government service and Werkbund activism
6. Cultural fault lines in the Wilhelmine garden city Movement
7. Statist commercial policies and artistic priorities at the 1914 Deutscher Werkbund exhibition
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