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France, Paris

L’Esprit du Bauhaus at Les Arts Décoratifs

Honouring arts education at the crossroads of industry and artisanship

Our everyday lives are suffused with ‘The Bauhaus Spirit’: the myriad forms and objects created at the unique German school from 1919 to 1933 continue to nourish our contemporary culture. In Paris, Les Arts Décoratifs is devoting a major exhibition to the teaching and influence of the Bauhaus. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - L’Esprit du Bauhaus at Les Arts Décoratifs
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / bastien morin

Founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, the Staatliches Bauhaus sought to enliven architecture and interiors through a synthesis of the visual arts, artisanship and industry. The innovative college welcomed leading avant-garde artists (Kandinsky, Klee, Schlemmer, Albers, Breuer and many more). Advocating a cross-disciplinary approach, it became the cradle of modernity as we know it, producing iconic works and objects that have shaped how we look at the world today.

Paris’s Musée des Arts décoratifs presents a tribute to the Bauhaus that brings together over 900 pieces – objects, furniture, textiles, drawings, models, and paintings. Evoking the school’s contemporary context and antecedents, the exhibition sheds new light on how the Bauhaus enshrined strict equality between artists and artisans as a pillar of its teaching. After this, visitors retrace every stage of the students’ training, workshop by workshop (furniture, ceramics, stained glass, sculpture, weaving, typography and advertising, photography, theatre, etc.)

This bubbling creativity fostered experimentation, and the devising of a formal vocabulary that has left an extraordinary heritage. In the final section, visual artist Mathieu Mercier presents a personal selection exploring the Bauhaus’s omnipresence in the contemporary creative arts. This is Paris’s first exhibition dedicated to the great German school since 1969. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is the show’s exclusive patron.

Discover the video

Anne Monier, curator of the exhibition, presents :

The B3 Armchair by Marcel Breuer

Josef and Anni Albers

The chess game by Josef Hartwig

Theatre at the Bauhaus

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L’Esprit du Bauhaus 
An exhibition by Les Arts Décoratifs, with the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès


Curators: Olivier Gabet, Anne Monier
Scientific curators: Monique Blanc, Béatrice Quette, Marie-Sophie Carron de la Carrière
Artistic director for the contemporary scene: Mathieu Mercier
Scenography: Laurence Fontaine
Graphic design: Bastien Morin