WERKBUND: HISTORY AND IDEOLOGY 1907-1933. New York: Barrons, 1980. Lucius Burckhardt [Editor].

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Lucius Burckhardt [Editor]

Lucius Burckhardt [Editor]: WERKBUND: HISTORY AND IDEOLOGY 1907-1933. New York: Barron’s, 1980. First American edition. Originally printed in Italy in 1977 by Gruppo Editoriale Electa, Venezia. Square quarto. Black fabricoid titled in white. Printed dust jacket. 117 pp. 178 black and white illustrations. Architectural historian’s bookplate to front free endpaper.  Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket.

8.75 x 9.75 hardcover book with 117 pages and 178 black and white illustrations. English translation by Pearl Sanders. The Werkbund identified an issue that continues to be a pressing concern in the twenty-first century: good design and craftsmanship for mass-produced goods. If each object we owned was well-designed, would we dispose of so many things or even need them in the first place?

  • Foreword by Vittorio Gregotti
  • Between Art and Industry: The Deutscher Werkbund by Julius Posener
  • Werkbund and Jugendstil by Julius Posener
  • The Artists’ Colony on the Mathildenhohe by Hanno-Walter Kruft
  • Berlin at the Turn of the Century: A Historical and Architectural Analysis, Goerd Peschken with Tilman Heinisch
  • The New Life Style by Othmar Birkner
  • Public Parks by Inge Maass
  • ”Everyone Self-Sufficient”—The Urban Garden Colonies of Leberecht Migge by Inge Meta Hulbusch
  • Distant Goals, Great Hopes: The Deutscher Werkbund 1918-1924 by Wolfgang Pehnt
  • Finding the Norm and Standard, Constructing for the Existenzminimum: The Werkbund and New Tasks in the Social State by Hans Eckstein
  • The Deutscher Werkbund from 1907 to 1933 and the Movements for the “Reform of Life and Culture” by Joachim Petsch
  • The Thirties and the Seventies: Today We See Things Differently by Lucius Burckhardt
  • The Osterreichischer Werkbund and Its Relations With the Deutscher Werkbund by Friedrich Achleitner
  • The Foundation of the Schweizer Werkbund and l’Oeuvre by Othmar Birkner

The Deutscher Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen) is a German association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists, established in 1907. The Werkbund became an important element in the development of modern architecture and industrial design, particularly in the later creation of the Bauhaus school of design. Its initial purpose was to establish a partnership of product manufacturers with design professionals to improve the competitiveness of German companies in global markets. The Werkbund was less an artistic movement than a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States. Its motto Vom Sofakissen zum Städtebau (from sofa cushions to city-building) indicates its range of interest.

The Deutscher Werkbund emerged when the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich left Vienna for Darmstadt, Germany, in 1899, to form an artists’ colony at the invitation of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse.The Werkbund was founded by Olbrich, Peter Behrens, Richard Riemerschmid, Bruno Paul and others in 1907 in Munich at the instigation of Hermann Muthesius, existed through 1934, then re-established after World War II in 1950. Muthesius was the author of the exhaustive three-volume "The English House" of 1905, a survey of the practical lessons of the English Arts and Crafts movement. Muthesius was seen as something of a cultural ambassador, or industrial spy, between Germany and England.

The organization originally included twelve architects and twelve business firms. The architects include Peter Behrens, Theodor Fischer (who served as its first president), Josef Hoffmann, Bruno Paul, and Richard Riemerschmid. Other architects affiliated with the project include Heinrich Tessenow and the Belgian Henry van de Velde. The Werkbund commissioned van de Velde to design a theatre for its 1914 Cologne Exhibition in Cologne. The exhibition was closed and the buildings dismantled, ahead of schedule, because of the outbreak of WW I. Eliel Saarinen was made corresponding member of the Deutscher Werkbund in 1914 and was invited to participate in the 1914 Cologne exhibition. Among the Werkbund's more noted members was the architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, who served as Architectural Director.