Beautiful Bauhaus

Most people attribute Germany’s Bauhaus
school, founded by Walter Gropius,with being
all about minimalist design, paring down
architecture to its most non-essential elements
whilst being beautiful at the same time.
What is overlooked is the fantastical costume
parties of the 1920s. Not only were they good
at designing furniture and everything else in
between, their costumes were just as sculptural
and flamboyant. The Bauhaus shindigs were
outright competitive. Imagine dancing around
in one of these with Wassily Kandinsky,
Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy,
Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.

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Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

The parties began as improvisational events,
but later grew into large-scale productions
with costumes and sets made by the school’s
stage workshop. There was often a theme to
the evenings. One party was called Beard, Nose,
and Heart, and attendees were instructed t
show up in clothing that was two-thirds white,
and one-third spotted, checked or striped.
However, it’s generally agreed that the
apotheosis of the Bauhaus’ costumed revelry
was the Metal Party of 1929, where guests
donned costumes made from tin foil, frying
pans, and spoons. Attendees entered that
party by sliding down a chute into one of
several rooms filled with silver balls.

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Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

 

 

Beautiful Red

There is no denying the power of RED.
Seattle City Hall has these fantastic red doors
that dazzle in sunlight. The first two images are
taken from inside; the third image is an exterior view.
Awesome indeed.
city hall interior red doors1 city hall interiors red doors 2 city hall exterior red

Symbolism of the Color Red

Red is the color of fire and blood. Hebrew words for blood and red have the same origin: “dm” means red and “dom” means blood. Blood and fire have both positive and negative connotations: bloodshed, aggression, war, and hate are on one side, and love, warmth and compassion on the other side. In ancient Egypt, red was the color of life and of victory. During celebrations, Egyptians would paint their bodies with red ochre. The normal skin tone of Egyptian men was depicted as red, without any negative connotation.

Ancient Greeks associated the bright, luminous red with the male principle. Red was also the color of the Greek gods of war, Phoebus and Ares. In prehistoric cultures, however, red was associated with the female principle. Mother Earth provided the Neolithic peoples with red ochre, which was credited with life-giving powers. The association of the red color with the female principle in Japan survives to the present day.

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Henri Matisse, The Dessert: Harmony in Red, 1908

piet mondrian Composition with Red Yellow blue 1919
Piet Mondrian, Composition Red Yellow Blue, 1919

Short History of Red Pigments

The oldest pigment was probably red ochre, which was used in cave art. The ancient world had red madder lake, artificially-made red lead, and vermilion (natural mineral cinnabar). Artificially-made vermilion was the most prominent red pigment until the manufacture of cadmium red in 1907.