The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism - Nicholas Fox Weber

They were extraordinary men and women, The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism (Knopf, $40), and art writer Nicholas Fox Weber has produced a wonderful group portrait. Weber has organized the handsome, well-illustrated book around some of the seminal figures at the school: Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers and his wife Anni, and Mies van der Rohe.  No book could better exemplify the marked break between the rigidities of class and culture before 1914 and the modern world we know now. It was a time of loosening inhibitions in more than art, so that an account of Bauhaus is perforce full of life and love. The influence of the Bauhaus School, founded in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius, extends into our time, ninety years later.  Certainly part of the reason is that most of the artists ended up in the United States, chased out of Germany by Hitler. The School itself closed in 1933. It had a shortlife but it unleashed a mighty movement.