Bauhaus school costume party, 1920s
As we get ready to tell yet another year to kiss our collective asses on its way out the door, that also means it’s almost time for that annual liver-killing bacchanal known as New Year’s Eve. But no matter what you have planned this year, I’m fairly certain that your party will not even come close to the costume parties thrown by students and teachers of Germany’s Bauhaus school back in the 1920s.
Sadly, there are not many surviving photographs of the costumed shindigs thrown at the school, which was founded by the revered German architect Walter Adolph Georg Gropius. It has been said that attendees of the costume parties took the preparation of their costumes as seriously (if not more so) as their studies at the school and the results were a spellbinding array of imagery created by the upper crust vanguard that made up Bauhaus’ academic population. Such as Russian abstract painter, Wassily Kandinsky and the great painter, Paul Klee both of whom taught classes at Bauhaus for approximately a decade starting in the very early 1920s.
Bauhaus costumes by Bauhaus Mural and Sculpture Department head (and later Theater Workshop director), Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
As for the the school itself, Gropius was very specific about the type of students he and his free-wheeling, arty-administration wanted roaming the halls of Bauhaus. As detailed in his 1925 essay, “Life at the Bauhaus,” then student and Hungarian architect, Farkas Ferenc Molnár, described the very specific “party people” attributes a prospective student should possess before deciding to pursue their studies the school:
For someone to be admitted to the Bauhaus workshops he or she must not only know how to work but also how to live. Education and training are not as essential requirements as a lively, alert temperament,  a flexible body, and an inventive mind. Nightlife at the Bauhaus claims the same importance as daytime activities. One must know how to dance. In Itten’s apt phrase: locker sein [loosen up].
I don’t know about you, but if this was a part of my former higher education institution’s “mission statement,” I probably would have stuck around longer. As many photos of the fantastical Bauhaus costume parties that I could dig up follow.