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Study Notes

Culture and Architecture in the Weimar Republic (1924-29)

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 20 Jan 2019

Culture and architecture in the Weimar Republic thrived during the 1920s.

Culture in the Weimar Republic

Restrictions imposed by the Kaiser on the arts and culture were removed and as people grew richer, they spent more on the arts. The Weimar Constitution also protected freedom of speech which enabled artists to express themselves without fear of reprisal. The art world in Weimar Germany experienced a revolution. Several new movements grew quickly and changed the way in which the arts were viewed. Ideas about art evolved and views such as Modernism and Expressionism came forward.

Linked to this, the Bauhaus movement evolved out of the Bauhaus design college in Berlin. This helped design new buildings with an emphasis on technology and clear lines. Underpinning all of this was support from the Weimar Government which funded the creation of arts centred ventures including orchestras and libraries.

The 1920s were a golden era for film and cinema-going became a popular leisure pastime for many Germans. Whilst many movies came out of the United States, German films were also popular. Films which had sound became very popular and by the early 1930s, many cinemas could show films with sound.

Architecture in the Weimar Republic

Architects during the Weimar Republic were influenced by the Bauhaus design college which promoted modern and future looking buildings.

Erich Mendelsohn was a Weimar era architect who took inspiration from the Bauhaus school of thought. Mendelsohn designed many buildings which took the form of Art-Deco and Streamline Moderne architecture.

It should be noted that the Bauhaus style extended from buildings through to furniture and typography. Bauhaus design is linked very closely with the ideas of modernism and the forward looking and forward-thinking designs which were found in the art world.


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