CZECHOSLOVAK STUDENTS OF ARCHITECTURE AT THE BAUHAUS
The text 'Czechoslovak Students of Architecture at the Bauhaus' is part of a longer work treating students from Czechoslovakia, of Czech, Slovak, German and Jewish-German nationality, who attended this modernist art school. The study tries to fill in the gaps in the history of architecture - the names, dates, designs and buildings of the Czechoslovak students. It therefore does not consider philosophical aspects, the extensive commentary on this school in the Czechoslovak press, or the influences of the Bauhaus on Czech culture generally. The study is based on extensive research in archives in the Czech Republic and abroad, for example: Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Bauhaus Archiv Berlin, the Archive of Andrej Sacharov in Moscow, the National Archive of the Czech Republic, the Prague Municipal Archive, the Archive of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Brno Municipal Archive, the Architecture Archive of the National Technical Museum, the Collection of Architecture and Town Planning of the Brno Municipal Museum, etc. The text addresses the multicultural milieu of the interwar Czechoslovak Republic. It adds the names of other students, men and women, to the list of seven students mentioned in earlier literature on the subject. In the broader context, study at this school does not seem as unusual as had previously been assumed. The Czechoslovak students who studied there came from various cultural and social backgrounds. Often, they wanted to supplement a traditional university education. The Bauhaus offered them new, modern pedagogical methods and opportunities to test their skill in practice. The school attracted most students when Hannes Meyer was head. This is as one would expect, given the left-wing orientation of society in the First Republic and the intensive personal contacts with the Czechoslovak avant-garde, in particular Karel Teige, Jaromir Krejcar, and so on. The reason why the students trained at the Bauhaus did not erect more buildings has nothing to do with an inability to adapt or make a name for themselves. (Upon returning, most of them worked in established architectural offices or building firms.) The financial crises of the 1930s were really to blame. Despite this difficult situation, the radically pragmatic, functionalist designs and buildings by Antonin Urban, Josef Hausenblas, Zdenek Rossmann, Václav Zralý and Josef Pohl were far superior to the average work produced at that time. The text also treats the activities of architects/Bauhaus graduates of other nationality on the territory of Czechoslovakia.
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