Date of Award
Master of Liberal Studies
Nancy M. Decker
PREFACE: One of the most interesting classes I completed during my Master of Liberal Studies program was MLS 517: From Magic Mountain to Alexanderplatz - Seminar on the Weimar Republic under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Decker. This class traced the Weimar Republic's political liberalism and cultural progressive society to its succumbing to fascism. The rich and complex history of the Weimar continued to stimulate my interest, especially the remarkable cultural achievements of the period. The Bauhaus, particularly, had influence on architecture, graphic design, theater production, and nearly every aspect of the visual arts. The impact seemed incalculable. My goal was to find an interpretation that not only placed the Bauhaus in a positive light in the history of the Twentieth Century, but revealed its cultural influence by means of the Weimar Republic. The Bauhaus story and its influences made a profound visual statement. To express my findings required some sort of visual record. The result was a video documentary, The Bauhaus: Epoch of Visual Change, based on of my research findings. The primary purpose of this video is intended to acquaint and educate the viewer with the most significant milestones of the Bauhaus. The video provides an introduction to the various stages in the development of the Bauhaus aesthetic; to the changes of political fortune the school endured during its brief existence; and to the extraordinary range of artistic creativity which it inspired. The video serves to supply source material that impacts the visual memory of its viewers. Instead of insisting that the untrained observer learn to respond to the established art/history facts, the video attempts to initiate a manner of thinking about the period and of looking at the creative work of the artists to make aesthetic discoveries and, hopefully, to have an aesthetic experience which is personal and direct. The development of the video's content and organization, and the selection of its illustrations and film footage, evolved after reading extensively as shown in the enclosed bibliography, scouring dozens of newsreels, and photographing over one hundred and forty images. In addition the abundance of material and art holdings and the friendly help supplied by the staff of the Busch-Reisinger Museum of Germanic Culture, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was invaluable. This paper supports and embellishes the thirty-minute monologue of the video which was compiled after the research, includes the monologue and production script, and details the process of creating the final video. The video is the manifestation of all these efforts.
Bailey, Emily L., "The Bauhaus: Epoch of Visual Change" (1995). Master of Liberal Studies Theses. 104.