Art: The Lawgiver

Acknowledged shrine of modern architecture was the famed Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany, and Architect Walter Gropius was its high priest. The boxy building with flat roofs and ribbon-glass windows that Gropius built there in 1926 laid down the line architecture was to follow for the next three decades. An exile from Hitler's Germany, Gropius introduced his methods as chairman of Harvard's department of architecture, revolutionized architecture in the U.S., became so firmly planted in architectural history that people were sometimes amazed to find him still a part of the present.

But today, at 76, seven years after his retirement from Harvard,...

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