Anni Albers

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Anni

Albers

Berlin, Germany
<p>Image: Anni Albers, "Wall Hanging", 1925.<br />
silk, cotton, acetate 50 × 38 inches. (127 × 96.5 cm).<br />
Die Neue Sammlung, Munich.<br />
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.</p>

Anni Albers was born Annelise Else Frieda Fleishmann in Berlin, Germany, in 1899. In 1922, she applied to the Bauhaus, an experimental art school in Weimar, Germany. After completing the rigorous Bauhaus “Preliminary Course,” Albers entered the Bauhaus’s weaving workshop, the only workshop at the school open to women and studied under Gunta Stölzl. Albers quickly embraced the qualities of the medium and invented a number of innovative fabrics. In 1925, Albers married fellow Bauhausler – and Black Mountain College teacher – Josef Albers.

Image: Anni Albers, "Wall Hanging", 1925.
silk, cotton, acetate 50 × 38 inches. (127 × 96.5 cm).
Die Neue Sammlung, Munich.
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Asheville, North Carolina: BMC
<p>Image: Anni Albers and a student, Black Mountain College, ca. 1944 © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.</p>

After the Bauhaus closed in 1933, Anni and Josef Albers emigrated to the United States. From 1933 to 1949, they taught at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. Anni Albers established a weaving workshop there, hiring local craftspeople to build looms and involving students in unfettered but disciplined experimentation with materials.

Image: Anni Albers and a student, Black Mountain College, ca. 1944 © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Mexico
<p>Image: Anni Albers, "Monte Albán", 1936.<br />
Silk, linen, and wool.<br />
57 1⁄2 x 44 1⁄8 inches.<br />
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Leahy.<br />
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society New York. Photo by: Tim Nighswander/Imaging 4 Art.</p>

Anni and Josef Albers made frequent trips to Mexico, and the country had a strong influence on their art. After an initial trip in 1935, Anni Albers created her textile work Monte Albán, inspired by the stepped forms of an ancient site in Oaxaca. The Alberses couple became avid collectors of pre-Columbian Art and organized an exhibition of Mayan art at Black Mountain College in 1937.

Image: Anni Albers, "Monte Albán", 1936.
Silk, linen, and wool.
57 1⁄2 x 44 1⁄8 inches.
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Leahy.
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society New York. Photo by: Tim Nighswander/Imaging 4 Art.

New York, New York
<p>Image: Installation view,<em> </em>"Anni Albers Textiles".&nbsp;<br />
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. (1949).&nbsp;<br />
The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.<br />
Photo by Soichi Sunami © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY</p>

In September 1949, the Museum of Modern Art in New York organized Anni Albers: Textiles, the museum’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of a single textile artist. Featuring her room divider wall hangings, the show brought Albers significant recognition.

Image: Installation view, "Anni Albers Textiles". 
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. (1949). 
The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.
Photo by Soichi Sunami © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

Orange, Connecticut
<p>Image: Anni Albers, "Do I", 1973.<br />
Screenprint 251⁄2 × 251⁄2 inches. (65 × 65 cm).<br />
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.</p>

Anni Albers permanently shifted from textiles to printmaking when she moved with Josef Albers from New Haven to Orange, Connecticut, in 1970. She received numerous awards and degrees from several institutions, notably the Royal College of Art, London, and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. Coming full circle, in 1990 she showed once again at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this time alongside her Bauhaus colleague Gunta Stölzl.

Image: Anni Albers, "Do I", 1973.
Screenprint 251⁄2 × 251⁄2 inches. (65 × 65 cm).
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.