The Bauhaus: Hannes Meyer
Hannes Meyer was born in Switzerland in 1889 and died in 1954. He is noted for being head of the Bauhaus from 1928 to 1930 after taking over the position from Walter Gropius. Meyer’s area of expertise was in architecture and he preferred that all architectural work was done in teams, rather than just one individual taking all the honours for the work. This was a very Communist ideology and Meyer’s leaning to the left would later prove to be his own downfall in the Bauhaus.
During his tenure at the Bauhaus School, Meyer greatly brought all of his Communist views to the fore in his teachings. Many students there, became Communist activists at the time and this worried the then local government of Dessau, where the Bauhaus was now located. Meyer’s extreme Marxist/Communist views led to him eventually being fired from his position of head. His dismissal rather affirmed the thoughts held by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer and Herbert Bayer, all of whom resigned when Meyer was initially made head in 1928.
Walter Gropius always believed that Meyer’s communist leanings were a grave error in judgement on his part. After Meyer left the Bauhaus under a dark cloud, in what was a very politically shaky time in Europe, his work was almost forgotten and his credibility was shattered. This was helped along in part by Gropius who wanted to put Meyer’s legacy behind the school. Therefore today, the work of people like Gropius and Mies is more remembered than that of Hannes Meyer.
Meyer was thought to be “anti-art” and many thought his appointment would mean the end for the Bauhaus School in Germany. And although Hannes Meyer was disliked by many of his colleagues due to his outwardly Communist views; it was during his time as head, that the school became its most profitable. He believed in mass production to make things more affordable to the less well off in society, which meant that more people would and did buy what the Bauhaus...