The Arts and Crafts Education of the Brücke: Expressions of Craft and Creativity

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This article examines the formation of Brücke with respect to the burgeoning Arts and Crafts scene in Dresden in the early twentieth century. It explores the prevailing "craft ideology" of this period contra the practices of the academy, and chiefly attempts to analyze the ambivalent position of Brücke, in considering how it is possible to reconcile their strong sense of the heritage of the German woodcut and woodcarving tradition with their avant-garde creed of youth and creativity. This further leads into a discussion regarding the implications of the rhetorical use of the term Handwerk ("craft") by the former Brücke artists, as well as by some of the first critical interpreters of Expressionism during the early Weimar era, and concludes with a comparative study of Brücke and Bauhaus.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Modern Craft is the first peer-reviewed academic journal to provide an interdisciplinary and international forum on the subject of craft. It addresses all forms of making that self-consciously set themselves apart from mass production— whether in the making of designed objects, artworks, buildings, or other artifacts.

    The journal covers craft in all its historical and contemporary manifestations. This ranges from the mid-nineteenth century, when handwork was first consciously framed in opposition to industrialization, through to the present time, when ideas once confined to the “applied arts” have come to seem vital across a huge range of cultural activities. Special emphasis is placed on studio practice, and on the transformations of indigenous forms of craft activity throughout the world. The journal also reviews and analyzes the relevance of craft within new media, folk art, architecture, design, contemporary art, and other fields.

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