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Dear Anne-Louise Sommer, sehr geehrte Frau Kugler, ladies and gentlemen,
2019 is the “Bauhaus Year” in Germany. With more than 700 events and three(!) new Bauhaus Museums we celebrate 100 years of a school that became a cradle of modern design.
However, like the Bauhaus idea itself the centenary is not limited to Germany. So I am very pleased that the exhibition we are opening today is part of the international celebration of 100 years of Bauhaus. I want to say a special thank you to the Desingmuseum Denmark and the Vitra Design Museum for making this possible.
From 1919-1933 a group of inspired minds created amazing innovations in architecture, art, dance, design, typography, photography and film in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin. These were places for experiments, for new forms and materials and also for provocation. Although the Bauhaus School existed for only 14 years the “Bauhaus idea” survived its suppression in Germany from 1933-1945. It became one of the most important sources of inspiration for architecture and design in the 20th century and still is today.
I believe that one of the strengths of the Bauhaus was its approach of cultural openness and internationality.
It has always been more of an idea than a well-defined style or a stiff concept of design, and the roots of the "Bauhaus idea" only grew stronger thorough the various international adaptions. Mrs. Sommer described the influence for Danish design traditions – which is a very good example of the interaction and mutual benefit.
Besides openness and internationality it is also democracy and democratic values that are closely linked to the Bauhaus. Only the first democratic republic that was established in Germany in 1919 – the so called Weimar Republic – guaranteed for the first time freedom of art and expression and made the work of Bauhaus possible. Although the artistic ambition was not defined politically, many ideas of a modern democracy are reflected in the Bauhaus. It gave space to free thinking and vivid discussion; it was inclusive towards other ideas and cultures and had a very international outlook.
I want to end by thanking the Design Museum Denmark, the Vitra Design Museum and everyone else who made this exhibition possible. To show in this exhibition how closely related our two countries are also in the field of design and how designers and architects benefited from each other’s work is something we all together can be proud of.
Udstillingen kan ses fra 14. marts til 1. december 2019 i Designmuseet.