ABSTRACT

The Bauhaus in 1923 was pulled in many directions: a dire need for financial support as government backing-and its funding-was being withdrawn, a resulting new turn to capitalism to assist it in meeting the economic crises of the day, an ambiguous position with regard to the priority of craftsmanship, technology, and industry, and a radical redefinition of the role of art and the artist in an age of mechanical reproduction. At this economically desperate

moment in Germany-the height of the post-World War I inflation which caused the bulk of the population extraordinary economic distress-the school was eager to “collaborate” with capitalist industry, setting the direction that would continue for the length of Gropius’s tenure as the Bauhaus’s director. At the same time, these circumstances dramatically altered the society for which the Bauhaus was designing.