Skip to main content

This year, the CAC is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus and its lasting legacy on the city with several programs and tours. Come join us at one of our upcoming tours or events!

By Bill Shapiro and Jessica Cilella

The word “Bauhaus” (literally “Building House" in German) is synonymous with the Modern style that conquered the world of design in the 1950s and 1960s. This style—focused on minimalism—evolved from an art school of the same name that was founded in Germany in 1919. Students studied the use of modern concepts and technology in the decorative and fine arts, and later, in architecture.

The Nazis forced the Bauhaus to close in 1933, but many of its students and faculty fled to other countries carrying the banner of Modernism. The last Bauhaus director was architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who moved to Chicago in 1938. Here, he created the modern skyscraper, including the building in which the CAC is housed.

If you’re interested in Bauhaus, you may enjoy these tours:

Mies and Modernism: The IIT Campus Tour

2 HOURS • FREE FOR MEMBERS, meets at Perlstein Hall, 10 W. 33rd St.

The Illinois Institute of Technology is home to the largest group of buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Modernist Masterpieces: Marina City and the IBM Building

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 • 1:30pm
1.25 HOURS • FREE FOR MEMBERS, begins at 35 W. Wacker Dr.

Where else but Chicago can you find two iconic Mid-Century buildings living side by side? This tour compares and contrasts the sites, uses, structures, styles and philosophies.

If you want to learn more about Bauhaus, these programs may interest you:

Bringing Modernist Icons Back to Life

$20 PUBLIC • $15 MEMBERS • $12 STUDENTS must show ID

Efforts to preserve our Modernist architectural icons are ramping up in Chicago and around the nation. In this 100th anniversary year of the Bauhaus, learn about the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to re-interpret and protect important Mid-Century Modern buildings as national heritage.