While Walter Gropius was writing his manifesto about the founding of a school, the Bauhaus, making feasts, serving food to the students he had attracted from all over the world to his new vision for an integrated craft-forward designed world, hiring prominent faculty, his private life was in a shambles. He had met the voluptuous and much sought after Alma Mahler, seen above, in 1910, at a fashionable sanatorium and they had had a passionate affair which landed in her leaving Mahler for the handsome Gropius but things were not right from the start. She was from an elite world of refined Viennese design and music; he trying to push architecture and design back to its simpler roots, to be democratized. She came to visit Gropius in Weimar in 1920 with their 21/2 year old daughter Manon over whom they were battling for custody. By the time of the visit, she was already involved with Franz Werfel, the poet and playwright after a fling with Oskar Kokoschka. The students found her haughty and spoiled, even as Lionel Feininger was impressed with the couple’s unconventional marriage of two independent minded people. But he also was already involved with one Lily Hildebrandt, a married artist, who also resisted the bonds of conventional marriage. (Arthur Schnitzler’s earlier play Reigen (La Ronde) comes to mind.) Gropius set up a self-sting with a prostitute, and a divorce decree was granted. The Bauhaus was the academic iteration of Gropius’s vision of this new freedom from social constraint in art and in life.