Edition 3

Corresponding With

Lyonel Feininger, Kathedrale [Cathedral], 1919, Cover and one page of the manifesto
and programme of the Bauhaus, April 1919, 32.1 x 19.4 cm, Woodblock print
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Photo: Atelier Schneider, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019.

Nandalal Bose, Instructions for Mural painting, early 1930s
Mural, Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan, India, © Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.

Weaving workshop at Bauhaus Dessau, ca. 1927, photo: Erich Consemüller/architect: Walter Gropius
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019.

Lena Bergner, Two studies from the Paul Klee course at the Bauhaus, 1927–28
Litho print, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, © Heirs to Lena Bergner.

Kala Bavhan campus, Santiniketan, West Bengal, 2017, photo: Grant Watson.

Krishna Reddy, Postcard and drawing, year unknown
Photo: Grant Watson, © Judith Reddy, New York.

Renshichirō Kawakita & Katsuo Takei, Kōsei Kyōiku Taikei, (Handbook for Teaching Design), 1934
Private Collection of Prof. Hiromitsu Umemiya.

Renshichirō Kawakita demonstrating paper cut technique for art educators, Tokyo 1932
Gelatin silver print.

Hin Bredendieck (middle) from Josef Albers's preliminary course 1928, ca. 1928 (photo) / 2015
Fine Art Print, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau.

Seikatsu kōsei (Life Construction) exhibition at Bunka Gakuin
in June 1931. Published in: Kenchiku Gaho, Vol. 22, No. 10.

Luca Frei, Design for pillows, 2017
Gouache, pencil and collage on foam core, 70 x 100 x 3 cm, photo: Karl Isakson.

●Edition Concept

In 1919 Walter Gropius published the Bauhaus Manifesto, which set out the curriculum for a school that would bring together art and craft as components of a new architecture with implications for social renewal. The edition Corresponding With positions Bauhaus teaching in relation to art schools in Asia from the first decades of the twentieth century that emerged in a parallel response to the new conditions of modernity. It explores the links between them, their common ground as well as how they established different models.


By examining these three schools together, the Bauhaus Manifesto becomes a comparative text to be read alongside foundational writing on art education from non-European sources. Rather than thinking in terms of chronological influences, Corresponding With explores a related history of educational systems, conceived through the transmission of ideas, and at the same time understood in terms of parallels and affinities. The edition will address three art schools: the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1933; Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts) in Santiniketan, India, between 1919 and 1939; and the Seikatsu Kōsei Kenkyūsho (Research Institute of Life Construction, later renamed in Shin Kenchiku Kōgei Gakuin((School of New Architecture and Design, 1933–36)) in Tokyo, Japan, from 1931 to 1939. It will compare the education, philosophy and different approach of these three schools, their teaching methods and workshop environments, their aesthetic language and material cultures. One thing they have in common is that, in the face of historic change, they turned to educational reform and institution-building as a way to achieve a radical break with the existing order.


Through this lens, Corresponding With will explore the question of how a contemporary paradigm shift demands new institutional structures as well as a recalibration of the relationship between education, culture and society.

●Related Articles
“The art!—that's one thing! when it's there” — On the history of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in the Early Weimar Republic

Even though the progressive artists of the interwar period ultimately failed in their plan to realize the new, egalitarian society they had envisioned, their influence was lasting. The international avant-garde produced some of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, some members of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst (Workers council for art) occupied important positions at the Bauhaus—above all, its founding director Walter Gropius. → more

●Artist Work
Anna Boghiguian – A Play to Play

The works from Anna Boghiguian shown here are from an installation commissioned by the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) titled A Play to Play as part of the exhibition Tagore’s Universal Allegories in 2013. These works incorporate elements associated with Tagore, from the artist’s frequent visits to Santiniketan. → more

Bauhaus Weimar International — Visions and Projects 1919–1925

Although the Bauhaus opened its door in 1919, it took more than three years for Gropius to fully organize the school’s faculty, since with the departure of several of the old art school’s professors, such as Max Thedy, Richard Engelmann and Walther Klemm, open positions had to be regularly filled. But Gropius’s first appointments indicated the course set toward an international avant-garde school, a school of invention. → more

Shifting, Rotating, Mirroring 
 — Lena Bergner’s Minutes of Paul Klee’s Classes

Lena Bergner developed carpet patterns applying specific methods learned from Paul Klee discernible in her finished work. The results, however, are quite unique. This is precisely what Klee sought to achieve with his classes at the Bauhaus: to point to paths of design so that the formal language is not arbitrary, without, however, prescribing predetermined outcomes. → more

Naked Functionalism and the Anti-Aesthetic — The Activities of Renshichirō Kawakita in the 1930s

Kawakita called the educational activities that developed around the central axis of the School of New Architecture and Design “kōsei education.” The term “compositional/structural education” is often taken nowadays to refer to a preparatory course in composition derived from the Bauhaus—plastic arts training in which plastic elements such as color, form and materials are treated abstractly.  → more

●Slide Show
Life at Santiniketan

The art school Kala Bhavan was founded by the poet Rabindranath Tagore in 1919 at Santiniketan, a utopian community about 100 miles north of Calcutta established in the previous century by the poet’s father, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore. Born out of the need to rehabilitate traditional Indian culture after the demoralizing impact of British rule, the school was established as an experiment in education that broke with academic tradition, and created a form of rural modernism decoupled from industrial modernization. → more

A Mystic Milieu — Johannes Itten and Mazdaznan at Bauhaus Weimar

Mazdaznan had a significant although often misunderstood impact on the life and work of Johannes Itten, a key figure in the development of the Weimar Bauhaus. A devout practitioner of Mazdaznan, he was responsible for introducing it to students of the Bauhaus in the early 1920s. This essay explores the intimate relationship between Itten, Mazdaznan and the Bauhaus and, in so doing, also underscores how in its infancy the Bauhaus was very different from its later incarnation as a school associated primarily with technical innovation. → more

Bauhaus Manifesto Re-cap — Historical Background and Content

Gropius wrote his Bauhaus manifesto shortly after the end of World War I. The German empire had collapsed, Russia had undergone a revolution and a second revolution in Germany was in the process of being suppressed. Throughout Germany people felt the necessity for a social and intellectual change. → more

●Artist Text
The O Horizon — A Film produced for bauhaus imaginista

The Otolith Group have been commissioned to produce 'The O Horizon' for bauhaus imaginista, a new film containing studies of Kala Bhavana as well as the wider environments of Santiniketan and Sriniketan. Through rare footage of art, craft, music and dance, it explores the material production of the school and its community as well as the metaphysical inclinations that guided Tagore’s approach to institution building. → more

●Artist Text
The legacies of the Bauhaus — For the Present and the Future

"My method of bringing new life to archival images is to look at what happens at the margins rather than the center of a picture. I am also obsessed with making links, based on the belief that everything is connected. And also with what I call “narrative environments,” mediating spaces facilitating new forms of engagement." Luca Frei is a commissioned artist for bauhaus imaginista: Corresponding With. He talks about his approach to his installation for the exhibition at MoMAK in Kyoto. → more

●Text Compilation
News from Santiniketan — A Text Compilation of Educational Texts from Santiniketan

Unlike the Bauhaus, Kala Bhavana had no written manifesto or curriculum. However, a corpus of writing developed around the school, largely produced by the school’s artists and teachers. The academic Partha Mitter, whose own writing has explored the interplay between the struggle against colonialism, modernism, and the cultural avant-garde in India, has selected a group of texts on education in Santiniketan. → more

The Bauhaus and the Tea Ceremony

The impact of the Bauhaus teaching methods reached far beyond Germany. Conversely, throughout its existence, a Japanese sensibility permeated the Bauhaus, springing from the Japonisme of individual professors, until its closure in 1933. This article analyzes the reciprocal impact of German and Japanese design education in the interbellum period in order to shed new light on the tightly knit network of associations then connecting Japan and Europe. → more

●Artist Text
Open your Eyes — Breathing new Life into Bauhaus Papercuts

My artistic practice working primarily with abstract folded paper objects led me to Josef Albers and his similar obsession with paper as an instructional medium. Initially looking for pleated paper forms and to learn more about the history of these techniques, I have since been swept up in the maelstrom of Albers' pedagogical mindset. It's difficult to look at one area of his thinking and not get pulled into many other directions, finding yourself challenged at every turn. → more

●Artist Text
The Egyptian Postures

In the late nineteenth century the self-styled Dr. Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha'nish founded Mazdaznan, a quasi-religious movement of vegetarian diet and body consciousness, which flourished across the USA and Europe until the 1940's. The Egyptian Postures is a guide to the most advanced Mazdaznan exercises that Johannes Itten taught his students at the Bauhaus. This edition of Dr. Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha’nish’s original instructions has been newly edited and illustrated by Ian Whittlesea with images of actor Ery Nzaramba demonstrating the postures. → more

●Research Archive
Im Schatten großer Mangobäume. Kunsterziehung und transkulturelle Moderne im Kontext der indischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung
Christian Kravagna

in: Tom Holert & Marion von Osten (Hg.): Das Erziehungsbild. Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen, Schlebrügge.Editor, Wien 2010, S. 106–130.

DE Size: 21 MB
Nationalism in India
Rabindranath Tagore

Essay by Tagore denouncing nationalism

EN Size: 108 KB
Rabindranath Tagore in Visva Bharati News
Rabindranath Tagore

from: Visva Bharati News, 1932–33.

EN Size: 6 MB
●All Articles
Filter by Language:
  • EN
  • DE
  • JA
“The art!—that's one thing! when it's there” — On the history of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in the Early Weimar Republic EN
„Die Kunst! – das ist eine Sache!, wenn sie da ist“
 — Zur Geschichte des Arbeitsrates für Kunst in der frühen Weimarer Republik DE
Anna Boghiguian – A Play to Play EN
Bauhaus Weimar International — Visions and Projects 1919–1925 EN
Bauhaus Weimar international — Visionen und Projekte 1919–1925 DE
Shifting, Rotating, Mirroring 
 — Lena Bergner’s Minutes of Paul Klee’s Classes EN
Verschiebung, Drehung, Spiegelung 
 — Lena Bergners Aufzeichnungen aus Paul Klees Unterricht DE
Naked Functionalism and the Anti-Aesthetic — The Activities of Renshichirō Kawakita in the 1930s EN
透明な機能主義と反美学 — 川喜田煉七郎の1930年代 JA
Life at Santiniketan EN
A Mystic Milieu — Johannes Itten and Mazdaznan at Bauhaus Weimar EN
Bauhaus Manifesto Re-cap — Historical Background and Content EN
The O Horizon — A Film produced for bauhaus imaginista EN
The legacies of the Bauhaus — For the Present and the Future EN
News from Santiniketan — A Text Compilation of Educational Texts from Santiniketan EN
The Bauhaus and the Tea Ceremony EN
Open your Eyes — Breathing new Life into Bauhaus Papercuts EN
The Egyptian Postures EN