Between 1918 and 1933 the German interwar avant-garde was a primary force driving European cultural innovation and modernism. These innovations continue to influence artistic practice, theory, and arts education today, thus making a comprehensive study of the relationship between individual war experience and the immediate response of avant-garde architects after the war all the more important.
The Break with the Past pursues several important, interrelated questions. What were the disparate war experiences of German architects, and did they have different effects on Weimar cultural production? Did political orientation play a part in support for the war? In aesthetic choices? What changes occurred in avant-garde architectural practice after 1918? How do they compare with pre-war positions and practices, and expectations for post-war outcomes? In order to address these questions, the book uses individual case studies of four leading architects: Bruno Taut, Walter Gropius, Erich Mendelsohn, and Hans Scharoun.
This is a valuable resource for academics and students in the areas of Art and Architecture History, German history and Cultural Studies, European Culture and Modernism.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Architecture in Transition: Germany’s Avant-garde before the First World I and the Weimar Republic
- Bruno Taut: Before the War
- Bruno Taut: War Years Resistance
- Bruno Taut: Leading the Avant-garde
- Walter Gropius: Career Beginnings
- Walter Gropius: War Service on the Western Front
- Walter Gropius: Rise to Prominence
- Erich Mendelsohn: Born Revolutionary
- Erich Mendelsohn: The War Years
- Erich Mendelsohn: After the War
- Hans Scharoun: Bremen and Berlin
- Hans Scharoun: On the Eastern Front
- Hans Scharoun: The Interwar Years
- Art and the Revolution
Deborah Ascher Barnstone is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.