May 2009


When You Least Expect It.

Honestly I should have expected it, but PseudoWife, her RealHusband, and I were on our third museum of the day before it happened.

We met at 11 Saturday morning on the steps of Weimar’s Neues Museum—one of five stops on the Bauhaus at 90 / 2009 Spring Tour of Weimar. After a brief debate (None of us really understood what we were getting into) we each opted for the Full Bauhaus Monty. For a mere 15€, we could visit five Weimar museums and learn as much as we wanted about Bauhaus Style.

Info Crack

Info Crack

And we started with the Neues Museum. As a part of the 15€ fee we got audio guides at three of the stops, and so armed with audio guides we forged ahead. The Neues Museum was filled with ceramics, furniture, and other practicalities that proffered to show how good design could be incorporated into useful objects. Beautiful tea cups result—with handles so tiny that I couldn’t really see how to pick them up without scalding my hand or waiting for cold tea.

Unfortunately the designers of the exhibit inadvertently designed a “Hunt the Number” game for the audio guide—it was rather easy to miss numbers, and one of my favorite numbers was on a shelf, lying flat, and required one to be at least 5’ 9” to see. I only found it because I noticed a number was sequentially missing and determined that it had to be in that room (a philosophy that worked, except on the floor below, where there really was a missing number because something hadn’t been put on display).

We left the Neues Museum relaxed, paused for a light snack at the Weimar Atrium, passed through the Jewish Cemetary, and on over to the Haus am Horn—the principal example of original Bauhaus architecture in Weimar. Other than being an example of the architecture; displaying some floor plans and models; and housing a Siemens microwave, the Haus am Horn wasn’t really some place one would spend a great deal of time. I like the house, but I’m not really sure I would want to live in it.

By the time we were at the third stop, which was located in the Goethe National Museum, we were relaxed—sure we were in the Goethe National Museum, but probably only because it had a nice exhibit space that could showcase the Bauhaus materials. There was, in fact, a great deal of nice art on display, and I fell in love with the work of Wassily Kandinsky .

Oddly, there were also some Goethe-Crystals on the first floor. PseudoWife and RealHusband pointed them out to me, and we laughed. Surely this was the limit: some how they had to include Goethe in the exhibit. Bauhaus was established in 1919, Goethe lived from 1794 through 1832—he died a full 87 years before Bauhaus was established.

However when we reached the top of the stairs, we realized how wrong we were: there was a whole room dedicated to Goethe and the Bauhaus. Listening to the audio guide left us with the distinct impression that Goethe thought his poetry was shit—that what he would go down in history for was his work on color—specifically the Theory of Colours—in which he argues against that idiot Sir Isaac Newton.

Furthermore it was revealed that in actuality, the founder of Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, was Goethe’s love child. He was born to Goethe, grew up educated by Goethe about the Theory of Colour, and then entered cryogenic storage and was revived in time to found Bauhaus and base Bauhaus Colouring on Goethe’s Theory.

Perhaps I am mistaken on the specifics.

At the Bauhaus Museum we then watched the welcome video (a mere five hours after we started our journey) before continuing to Schiller’s House, where we were sort of kidding about the involvement of Schiller in Bauhaus. Schiller’s House was home to exhibits on Bauhaus theater performances, parties, and other related activities.

I was only on the second step of the audio guide when Schiller was invoked: Schiller, as a playwright, influenced Bauhaus by, well, being a playwright. I don’t remember exactly how he was involved because, as usual, Schiller is overshadowed by Goethe. A few steps later, I was listening to the audio guide when I heard the following (somewhat embellished and highly altered) gem:

Goethe gave this children’s puppet-theater playhouse to his kids. You might be wondering how this is related to Bauhaus.

As a matter of fact, I was.

It’s not. We included it only because Bauhaus performed puppet-theater and this is a pretty little puppet-theater.

Maybe that’s not exactly what they said—I was feeling a bit nauseated at this point—although RealHusband and I exchanged high-fives each time the audio guides mentioned either Goethe or Schiller—by the end our hands were sore and PseudoWife ended up spoon feeding both of us dinner. She was a little miffed that we’d left her out of the high-fives.

Artist Programming Lost, Facory Fresh!

Artist Programming Lost!

RealHusband and I were under the impression that the museum staff was getting a bit annoyed with our high-fives—but they should have been happy that we weren’t downing shots each time Goethe or Schiller were mentioned in the Bauhaus exhibits. I doubt that even an alcoholic could have made it out on their feet.

Of course, being the kind of person that I am, I noticed that one of the artistic pieces had a LED display where the program message had some how been deleted and it was now displaying the factory default promotional message for the AM03128 LED Display.

Rapping Goethe to the Young!

Rapping Goethe to the Young!

We were reaching the end of our sixth (and final) hour of museuming when RealHusband and I looked at the Schiller House Museum Bookshop. Much to our shock, horror, and continual amusement, I found the Interactive Rap-Audiobook for Goethe and Schiller featuring dopple-u.

Goethe und Schiller: At the core of all things Weimar.

Even Bauhaus.

1 comment to When You Least Expect It.

  • It seems that the tour was missing a few signs reading, “on this spot in 1873, nothing happened…”

    We have a few of those around here.