The existence of myths depends on repetition: they have to be told again and again. And what better occasion to retell the myth of the Bauhaus as the essence of twentieth-century modern architecture than in 2009, the ninetieth anniversary of its founding. Myriad exhibitions and publications on the Bauhaus flourished——and the Deutsches Architektur-Museum in Frankfurt showed a very special one. Curated by New York photographer Gordon Watkinson in association with the Berlin-based Foto+Synthesis, advised by Bauhaus-Museum director Michael Siebenbrodt and architectural critic Falk Jaeger, it also provoked several of misunderstandings.

First, it was not an exhibition about architecture as much as architectural photography. Large, beautiful, well composed, and carefully selected black-and-white photographs told something about the craft and aesthetics of architectural photography, but not about the buildings shown. Nearly all presented details in frontal view, quite often with a central viewpoint...

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