The collapse of communism and the reunification of Germany have dramatically altered our understanding of the Bauhaus's legacy. New institutions in the former East now compete with each other and with the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin as the official successors to the original Bauhaus and the chief repositories of its art and related documentation. In addition, German scholars, along with their American and English counterparts, have deconstructed Cold War myths about the school and questioned its relevance as an antifascist bulwark of democratic and/or socialist ideals. Once privileged as metaphors for production, Bauhaus designs are now examined to expose the school's participation in a market economy and its interaction with consumerism. This in turn has focused attention on the school's many female students and the much smaller number of female staff. Finally, with aspects of the Bauhaus's heritage traced back to sources as diverse as Goethe's color theories and Wilhelmine nationalism, it no longer appears that everything about the school was radically new.

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