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Gropius  By  cover art

Gropius

By: Fiona MacCarthy
Narrated by: Jennifer M. Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

The impact of Walter Gropius can be measured in his buildings - Fagus Factory, Bauhaus Dessau, Pan Amb - but no less in his students. I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, Anni Albers, Philip Johnson, Fumihiko Maki: countless masters were once disciples at the Bauhaus in Berlin and at Harvard. Between 1910 and 1930, Gropius was at the center of European modernism and avant-garde society glamour, only to be exiled to the antimodernist United Kingdom during the Nazi years. Later, under the democratizing influence of American universities, Gropius became an advocate of public art and cemented a starring role in 20th-century architecture and design.

Fiona MacCarthy challenges the image of Gropius as a doctrinaire architectural rationalist, bringing out the visionary philosophy and courage that carried him through a politically hostile age. Pilloried by Tom Wolfe as inventor of the monolithic high-rise, Gropius is better remembered as inventor of a form of art education that influenced schools worldwide. He viewed argument as intrinsic to creativity. Unusually for one in his position, Gropius encouraged women's artistic endeavors and sought equal romantic partners. Though a traveler in elite circles, he objected to the cloistering of beauty as "a special privilege for the aesthetically initiated."

©2019 Fiona MacCarthy (P)2020 Tantor

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Incredible (if your a fan)

I've always been a student of the Bauhaus and a fan of Gropius. This biography opened up alot of new understandings about Gropius, the school, and the people surrounding it. I highly recommend this to anyone who's in design or a related field.

To others I think the book has much to offer but the narration and material can come off a bit dry to the casual listener. From a certain point of view you have to want it.

I came away feeling inspired and a bit closer to man I consider a hero.