Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus is the first exhibition in the UK to fully explore the relationship between the English Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus, the ground-breaking German art school established by Walter Gropius. Timed to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in 1919, it brings together over 60 objects from nine international and domestic lenders, some of which have never been displayed in the UK before.
The exhibition uses Morris’s key principles of Unity, Craft, Simplicity and Community as a lens to explore the early years of the Bauhaus, from its establishment as a radical new school in the conservative city of Weimar, to its move to a purpose-built campus in Dessau. Along the way, the Bauhauslers embraced a diverse range of ideas and aesthetics as they adopted and adapted the messages of the Arts and Crafts movement in their quest to design a better world. In showing objects made at the Bauhaus alongside Morris’s own pioneering designs, the exhibition invites visitors to explore alternative perspectives on the Bauhaus, as well as see Morris’s legacy in a new light.
Alongside the exhibition is a display of three pieces by acclaimed London-based fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, who is lending garments from her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, which combines Bauhaus prints with patterns inspired by William Morris. There is also an installation by Bauhaus Artist in Residence, Nicholas Pankhurst.
Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus has been funded through Art Happens, the Art Fund's crowdfunding platform.