May 15: Cologne, 1914

2012/05/15 § Leave a comment

On this day in 1914 the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition opened in Cologne.

Founded in 1907 in Munich, the Werkbund was a collaborative of designers, architects and industrialists committed to improving and revolutionizing German design.  Their 1914 exhibition is legendary.  The Glass Pavilion by Bruno Taut, the Administration Building by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, the Theatre by Henry van de Velde, the nearly forgotten Festival Hall by Peter Behrens: these buildings reveal the diversity possible in these early years of capital-M Modernism, from latter-day Nouveau and Stripped Classicism to Expressionism and the Factory Style.  It’s a fascinating portrait of the great variety possible and pursued in this early movement; a far cry from the white-rendered monotony of  the Werkbund’s next outing, the 1927 exhibition in Stuttgart.  By then the image (although not the reality) of high-tech mechanized industry had won the day, nearly obliterating the memory of Cologne and its fascinating possibilities, all of which disappeared in the rubble as the exhibition closed in August 1914, two months early, due to the outbreak of war.

Image: exhibition advertisement designed by Behrens (from this source)


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Clio loves comments! Please leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading May 15: Cologne, 1914 at Clio’s Calendar: Daily Musings on Architectural History.


%d bloggers like this: