Women who worked at the Bauhaus
When I came to Europe 50 years ago, I was convinced that equal rights for women were omnipresent and that women were much freer than in my home country. However, these expectations were soon disappointed. I experienced this first-hand as a composition student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. But even in this situation, I was determined not to let myself be beaten by my male classmates.
Through the composition of ‘Bauhäuslerinnen’ for vocal quartet, I was confronted with the history of the Bauhaus (1919-1933). From the second semester onwards, the number of female students was limited and many were sent to weaving. Where was the initial enthusiasm for the “new women coming”?
In 1919, Walter Gropius stated in the Bauhaus programme that “every person is accepted, regardless of age or sex”. However, when the admission procedure was discussed in September 1920, Gropius insisted on a strict selection from the outset, especially as the proportion of women was too high.