Author(s): Wolfgang Holler
Weimar is famous for serving as the first home of the eminently modern Bauhaus movement. But how and when did modernism reach the German city, previously best known for its ties to Goethe and eighteenth-century classicism? This catalog for a permanent exhibition at the Neues Museum Weimar explores how such figures as Friedrich Nietzsche, Elisabeth F rster-Nietzsche, Harry Graf Kessler, and Henry van de Velde altered the cultural focus in Weimar circa 1900, ushering in modernism approximately two decades before the founding of the Bauhaus school. Essays and more than one hundred full-color illustrations show how a worship of Goethe began to give way to the cult surrounding Nietzsche, who had spent his final years in Weimar with his sister, F rster-Nietzsche. As the idea of the New Man took hold among the cultural elite, Kessler introduced European modernism via pioneering exhibitions, while Van de Velde established a school of applied arts that would eventually be integrated into the Bauhaus school. Filled with provocative ideas and eye-catching images, this timely volume offers a vital account of the far-reaching roots of German modernism.