Josef Albers, Skyscrapers on Transparent Yellow (c. 1929) © 2009 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Bauhaus lasted exactly as long as Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and is its principal cultural achievement. But the revolutionary school of art and design is also an achievement of modernism itself, for it answered a most vexing question: Was it possible to make a viable institution out of a movement that had arisen out of conflict with institutional authority, and which drew its focus, vitality, and sense of purpose from that conflict? Merely to...

 

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