Harvard Created a Bauhaus Dreamland for the Internet

Design enthusiasts, meet The Bauhaus.

bauhaus harvard art museums

Image via The Bauhaus

A healthy dose of Bauhaus design inspiration is now only a click away thanks to the good folks at Harvard. This week, the Harvard Art Museums announced a new online resource called The Bauhaus, where users can browse more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related works.

In a nutshell, the database is a Bauhaus dreamland for the internet. A truly stunning resource. A virtual Bauhouse, if you will.

For soon-to-be design enthusiasts who may not be clear on what Bauhaus is—let us explain. The Bauhaus is a design movement that originated in a German art school. Founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school taught its students to combine fine arts with crafts. It sought to bridge the gap between art and industry, and did so by embracing craftsmanship, simplicity, and mass production all at once.

A total of three Bauhaus schools operated in Germany until their closing in 1933. Its leaders feared pushback from the Nazi regime, which pinned the school as a center for communist thought. Afterward, Gropius made his way to the United States and settled in Boston. He continued to use Bauhaus principles in his architecture, and went on to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (among a long list of other impressive accomplishments).

This is all to say that Bauhaus was an incredibly influential modernist art school. So, leave it to Harvard to open access to one of the first and largest Bauhaus collections in the world. The online archive features a variety of works, from prints and paintings to furniture and architecture. It’s easily searchable and can be sorted into categories like theme, media, and discipline. Need to see all of Marcel Breuer’s chairs at once? You got it. Searching for inspiration in Josef Albers prints? Look no further.

The archive also highlights Bauhaus’ extensive ties to Boston. It includes an essay about Bauhaus’ intimate links to the history of Harvard, a map of Bauhaus-related places in and around the city, and lists of Bauhaus archives and exhibitions held at Harvard.

The release of The Bauhaus comes before a much larger project by Harvard. According to a press release, it will culminate in a major exhibition across Harvard’s campus in 2019—the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school.

The only thing better than getting lost in the Bauhaus-related digital stacks might be doing so while inside a Bauhaus building. This Gropius and Breuer-designed bungalow on the market, perhaps?

Browse some of our favorite Bauhaus objects that can be seen in the Harvard Art Museums’ collections below.

bauhaus harvard art museums

Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Coffee and Tea Service: 5-Piece Set,1924–25 / Photo via Harvard Art Museums, © President and Fellows of Harvard College

bauhaus harvard art museums

Marianne Brandt, Untitled [with Anna May Wong], 1929 / Photo via Harvard Art Museums, ©
President and Fellows of Harvard College

bauhaus harvard art museums

Anni Albers, Design for a Rug, 1927 / Photo via Harvard Art Museums, © President and Fellows of Harvard College