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On October 31 President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, first lady Elke Büdenbender, and their special guests took a private tour of Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Historic New England President and CEO Carl R. Nold and Walter and Ise Gropius’s granddaughter, Erika Pfammatter, welcomed the group at the front portico, then held a brief presentation in the living room before leading a tour of the house.
Gropius House contains a significant collection of furniture fabricated in Bauhaus workshops during the 1920s. With the family’s possessions still in place, the museum has a sense of immediacy and intimacy. Ms. Pfammatter shared delightful memories of Gropius family life in Lincoln with the German President and his entourage. The couple were charmed by the house and the family stories. One of their favorite things was the Weimar desk and the story of its travels from Berlin to London and from London to Lincoln.
Among the guests in attendence were Emily Haber, German ambassador to the United States; Nicole Menzenbach, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Annemarie Jaeggi, director of the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design.
The visit was in conjunction with Wunderbar Together—Germany and the U.S., a yearlong celebration of German-American friendship. It was also the perfect way to wind down a year of celebrating the centennial of the Bauhaus at Gropius House.
Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school Bauhaus, was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He designed Gropius House as his family home in 1938 when he came to Massachusetts to teach architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.