Mountain Mayhem: Bauhaus Ball |

Mountain Mayhem: Bauhaus Ball

The year 2019 marks a centennial celebration across the world of the founding of the Bauhaus, a German art institution, which translates to “building house.” Its significance in Aspen is rooted in the art and architecture of Herbert Bayer, a designated master of the movement who renovated some of Aspen’s most historic and vital spaces from the Wheeler Opera House to the Hotel Jerome and designed others from the Aspen Institute campus to private residences and the original Sundeck.

Throughout the year, various local organizations are collaborating on events as a way to commemorate this modernist art school and highlight its relevance and history. Perhaps the most significant of them all — and quite certainly the most fun — took place on Thursday, June 6, at the Wheeler Opera House. The Bauhaus Ball was an Aspen community party for the ages, open to one and all at no charge, and appealing to the young and the young at heart. Guests arrived to a costume-making area and photo booth on the ground floor; passed appetizers, drinks and live music on the upper lobby level; and a costume contest in the theater.

When a costume or theme party is proposed in Aspen, the response is rarely lackluster. Lissa Ballinger, curator for the Aspen Institute, spearheaded the efforts to bring the ball to life, along with a volunteer committee. She and her cohort weren’t sure if anyone would come in costume besides them, and were in for a pleasant surprise when 400 guests showed up, of which 80 or so entered the costume contest and quite possibly all had a ball.

The common cry of the evening was this should be an annual event as it perfectly captures the spirit of authentic Aspen and its appreciation of the arts.

While the Bauhaus Ball is behind us — for this year, at least — there’s still a host of events through the summer commemorating the campaign, all outlined here:

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