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Student Life at the Bauhaus, 1919-1933

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This Thesis is one of the few studies that focuses exclusively on the student experience at the Bauhaus school of art, architecture, and design in Germany. Themes include the Bauhaus students' involvement with mysticism, communism, and Nazism.
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  i STUDENT LIFE AT THE BAUHAUS 1919-1933 A Thesis Presented by ERIC C. CIMINO Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Massachusetts Boston, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS August 2003 History Program  ii Copyright 2003 by Eric C. Cimino All rights reserved    iii STUDENT LIFE AT THE BAUHAUS 1919-1933 A Thesis Presented By Eric C. Cimino Approved as to style and content by: Paul Bookbinder, Associate Professor Chairperson of Committee Woodruff Smith, Professor Member Nancy Stieber, Associate Professor, Art Department Member Spencer Di Scala, Program Director History Program  iv ABSTRACT STUDENT LIFE AT THE BAUHAUS 1919-1933 August 2003 Eric C. Cimino, B.A., University of Delaware M.A., University of Massachusetts Boston Directed by Professor Paul Bookbinder This study examines student life at the Bauhaus in Germany, arguably the most important art school of the twentieth century, in order to further explore the dynamics of the institution and its relation to the Weimar Republic. Chapters 2 and 4 focus on the general student experience, first in the town of Weimar (1919-25) and then in Dessau/Berlin (1925-33). Chapters 3, 5, and 6 deal with the themes of mysticism, student politics, and women at the Bauhaus. The main primary sources for this thesis are the three major English language documentary collections on the Bauhaus, various published accounts by Bauhaus masters and students, and a series of interviews with former students. I found that the students were a vital part of the Bauhaus, contributing in important ways to its development and success, as well as to the ever-present controversy that surrounded the school. The students also provide a striking example of modern life in early 20 th  century Germany. Throughout the six chapters, and particularly with the thematic chapters, the Bauhaus’s relationship to modernity is shown to be constantly in flux and sometimes contradictory, in many ways like Weimar society itself.  v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For permission to quote from interviews in the Judith Pearlman Archive at the Getty Research Institute, I would like to thank Wim de Wit from the Getty Research Institute, Yael Aloni representing Gunta Stoelzl, Marianne Herold of the Lis and Roman Clemens Foundation, Brenda Danilowitz from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and Caitlin Miller from Artists Rights Society (representing Max Bill). Special thanks are given to my thesis committee at the University of Massachusetts in Boston: Professors Paul Bookbinder, Woodruff Smith, and Nancy Stieber. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the History Department, who provided a former mathematician with the opportunity to become a historian. Finally, it is important to have encouragement from those whom you love when pursuing such a challenging project. I thank my family and my soon-to-be wife, Suzanne, for their unwavering support and interest in what I do. E.C.C. Boston, MA July 13, 2003
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