This year, the Bauhaus institutions in Berlin, Dessau and Weimar will be organising three exhibitions conceived as prologues to the big Bauhaus Centenary in 2019. Following the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, it is now the turn of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar – with an exhibition on the role of the artistic transfer of ideas at the Bauhaus and beyond.

Sculptor Gerhard Marcks in his studio in New York / Photo: Arnold Newman Date: 1950 / Photo credit: Arnold Newman Collecti­ on, Getty Images
Sculptor Gerhard Marcks in his studio in New York / Photo: Arnold Newman Date: 1950 / Photo credit: Arnold Newman Collecti­ on, Getty Images

The sculptor Gerhard Marcks (1889–1981) was not only one of the first instructors at the newly founded Bauhaus, but also one of the few artists who advocated the original idea of renewing the arts through craft. Starting in 1919, a group of likeminded comrades-in-arms established itself at the Bauhaus, which would convey this approach far beyond the borders of Europe via schools, communities and circles of friends. This exhibition is the first ever to examine this extraordinary group of artists and to open up a new way of looking at the Bauhaus outside of industry and standardisation.

Marcks and his students, such as the ceramics artist Marguerite Friedländer-Wildenhain (1896–1985), the silversmith Wolfgang Tümpel (1903–1978) and the painter Johannes Driesch (1901–1930), shared a common characteristic, namely their adherence to the principles of craftsmanship. As over 200 exhibits including sculptures, drawings, paintings and ceramics of the highest order demonstrate, for all involved, this approach played a key role in establishing their artistic self-image.

The exhibition sketches a broad arc from Weimar where the Bauhauslers met and the time they spent at the Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein in Halle (Saale), to California, where the artist Marguerite Friedlaender-Wildenhain, who had fled the National Socialist regime, founded Pond Farm, a school of art and pottery workshop. A wealth of correspondence, documentary photographs and film and an interactive media station shed light on the artistic transfer of ideas within the circle of friends well into the 20th century.

“Paths from Bauhaus. Gerhard Marcks and his Circle of Friends” is a joint project by the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus in Bremen and the DFG project “Moving Networks. Bauhaus Members and Their Networks of Relationships in the 1930s and 1940s” at the TU Cottbus-Senftenberg in Brandenburg and the University of Erfurt. It is sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Free State of Thuringia, the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, and the Circle of Friends of the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus.

The event is part of the Weimar Summer 2017.

Supporting programme for the exhibition

Special opening

16 August 2017, 8 – 10 p.m.

Free admission

Guided tours

Every Sunday at 11 a.m.

Guided tours with curator Anke Blümm

Sunday, 20 August 2017, 11 a.m.
Sunday, 5 November 2017, 11 a.m.

Family guided tours

“Dear friends of the Bauhaus”

Sunday, 27 August 2017, 2 p.m.
Sunday, 17 September 2017, 2 p.m.
Sunday, 1 October 2017, 2 p.m.
Sunday, 29 October 2017, 2 p.m.

Participation free, plus admission

Lectures followed by exhibition tour

“Christianity cannot be overlooked”

Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6 p.m.

Points of reference to the Christian tradition in the case of Gerhard Marcks, Johannes Driesch, Wolfgang Tümpel and Theodor Bogler. With speaker Anke Blümm of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.


“Thinking does not lead to art”

Thursday, 7 September 2017, 6 p.m.

Gerhard Marcks and his network. With speaker Arie Hartog of the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus in Bremen.


“Lydia Driesch-Foucar – Survival thanks to sculpted gingerbread”

Thursday, 28 September 2017, 6 p.m.

With speaker Magdalena Droste of the TU Cottbus-Senftenberg in Brandenburg.

Design laboratory

Discover design and experimentation for yourself! Proceeding from the exhibition objects, visitors will be able to design their own pots, cups and vases in the Design Laboratory.

Saturday, 26 August 2017
Sunday, 27 August 2017

Saturday, 16 September, 30 September 2017
Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday, 1 October, 29 October 2017
Saturday, 28 October 2017

Tuesday, 3 October, 31 October 2017

Always 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Design Laboratory in Weimar is part of the Bauhaus Agents programme – an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar / bauhaus museum weimar, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin.

Free admission

Discussion tours with experts

“Sculpture today – positions”

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 6 p.m.

Accompany artists, art historians and artisans on three topical guided tours of the exhibition in the Neues Museum Weimar. Liz Bachhuber, freelance artist and Professor of Fine Art at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and Walter Sachs, a sculptor, painter and graphic designer from Weimar reflect on the works of the Bauhaus artists from a contemporary perspective.


“How modern can craft be?”

Thursday, 26 October 2017, 6 p.m.

The early Bauhaus in Weimar is representative of a concept of (arts and) craft caught between tradition and modernity, which was in many respects controversial. The extent to which this controversy shapes especially the current debates concerning craft is traced by Regina Bittner, Associate Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and curator of the exhibition “Craft Becomes Modern. The Bauhaus in the Making”, and Wolfgang Holler, General Director of Museums at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.


“Art and craft: a new unity?”

Thursday, 2 November 2017, 6 p.m.

Constanze Unger, freelance artist and Director of the Academy of Design and Crafts Münster, and Laura Straßer, a product designer specialising in porcelain and ceramic design, elucidate in the exhibition how they teach and practice this unity in a wide variety of ways.

The lectures and discussion tours are in german language.


“Paths from the Bauhaus”
Gerhard Marcks and his Circle of Friends
17 August – 5 November 2017
Neues Museum Weimar