Index Caption LEFT RIGHT 1 | 6
Left: Josef Albers, 1908
Right: Anni Albers, 1910
Josef and Anni Albers on the balcony of the Prellerhaus, Bauhaus Dessau, ca. 1928
photograph by Marianne Brandt
Anni Albers in the Alberses’ Masters House, Bauhaus Dessau, ca. 1930
photograph by Josef Albers
Josef and Anni Albers on their arrival in the United States, November 1933
photograph by the Associated Press
Josef and Anni Albers, Asheville, North Carolina, ca. 1935
Josef Albers, Mitla, Mexico, ca. 1937
photograph by Anni Albers
Josef and Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, 1938
photograph by Theodore Dreier
Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, 1944
photograph by Barbara Morgan
Anni Albers, ca. 1940
photograph by Josef Albers
Josef and Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, 1949
photograph by Theodore Dreier
Anni Albers, 1961
photograph by Josef Albers
Josef Albers at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm, Germany, 1955
photograph by Margit Staber
Josef and Anni Albers at Tyler Graphics, 1976
photograph by Betty Fiske
Josef Albers, 1971
photograph by John Naar
Anni Albers, Milan, Italy, 1983
photograph by Getulio Alviani

1888

Josef Albers born March 19, Bottrop, Ruhr district, Germany.

1899

Annelise Fleischmann (Anni Albers) born June 12, Berlin, Germany.

1902–05

Josef Albers attends preparatory teachers' training school (Präparandenschule) in Langenhorst.

1905–08

Josef attends teachers' college in Büren; receives teacher's certificate.

1908–13

Josef teaches public school at the Josephschule in Bottrop, and in nearby towns of Dülmen and Stadtlohn.

1908

Josef visits museums in Munich and the Folkwang Museum, Hagen; sees paintings by Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse for the first time.

1913–15

On leave of absence from his position as schoolteacher, Josef travels to Berlin where he studies at the Royal Art School and becomes certified as an art teacher in 1915. Visits Berlin museums and galleries. Executes first still-life paintings and linocut prints in 1915.

1916

Josef studies lithography part-time at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Essen. Makes first lithographs. Begins independent work in stained glass.

1916–19

Anni studies painting with Martin Brandenburg, who, like Philipp Franck, Josef’s teacher at the Royal Art School in Berlin from 1913 to 1915, was a member of the Berlin Secession.

1917

Josef executes his first commission, the stained-glass window Rosa mystica ora pro nobis for St. Michael's Church in Bottrop. It is later destroyed.

1918

Anni visits Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, where she sees works by Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, and other expressionist artists.

1918–19

Josef attends the Royal Bavarian Art Academy in Munich where he studies drawing with Franz von Stuck and attends Max Dörner's course in painting techniques.

1920

Josef enrolls at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Takes Preliminary Course under Johannes Itten and pursues independent study in stained glass.

1922

Anni enrolls at the Bauhaus in Weimar and begins the Preliminary Course in April.

Josef completes his preliminary work at the Bauhaus and is appointed a “journeyman” and placed in charge of the Bauhaus glass workshop. He designs and executes stained-glass windows for Walter Gropius’s Sommerfeld and Otte houses in Berlin and for the reception room of Gropius’s office in Weimar. In the furniture workshop, Josef designs a table and bookshelf for the reception room of Gropius’s office. Josef and Anni meet.

1923

Itten leaves the Bauhaus and Josef takes over teaching of the Preliminary Course in material and design together with László Moholy-Nagy. Josef designs display cabinets to be used in the first official Bauhaus exhibition.

Anni enters the Bauhaus weaving workshop. She participates in creating textiles for the experimental Haus am Horn built for the Bauhaus exhibition.

1924

Josef's first published writings appear, his essay "Historisch oder Jetzig," in a special Bauhaus issue of the magazine Junge Menschen.

Anni’s first published writings appear, her piece on "Bauhausweberei," appears in a special Bauhaus issue of the magazine Junge Menschen. Her article "Wohnökonomie" is published in a women's magazine. It promotes the Bauhaus idea of design for efficient living.

1925

Josef and Anni are married on May 9 and travel to Italy on their honeymoon. The Alberses move with the Bauhaus to Dessau. Josef is appointed a Bauhaus Master.

1926–27

Josef develops sandblasted glass paintings and designs large-scale glass windows fabricated by the Berlin firm of Gottfried Heinersdorff, Puhl and Wagner. The windows are installed in the Grassi Museum, Leipzig, and the Ullstein Printing Factory in Tempelhof, Berlin. These windows are destroyed during World War II. He also designs an upholstered bentwood armchair, glass, and metal household objects, and a universal typeface that is published in the magazine Offset. He designs furniture for the Berlin apartment of the Alberses’ good friends, Drs. Fritz and Anna Moellenhoff.

Anni designs textiles and wallhangings, now working on new double and jacquard looms. Color illustrations of her wallhangings are published in the magazine Offset, and in Paris in Tapis et Tissus, a portfolio selected by Sonia Delaunay.

1927

In July Josef and Anni travel on vacation on a banana boat to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Anni takes Paul Klee’s class for the weaving students. She designs wall coverings and curtains for the Theater Café Altes in Dessau and the curtain for a theater in Oppeln.

1928

Josef lectures at the International Congress for Art Education in Prague. His seminal article “Werklicher Formunterricht” expounding his educational philosophy and method is published in the journal Bauhaus. Josef takes over teaching the entire Preliminary Course after Moholy-Nagy leaves the Bauhaus. He directs the Bauhaus furniture workshop after the departure of Marcel Breuer and designs a second upholstered armchair. Gropius resigns as Bauhaus director and is replaced by architect Hannes Meyer.

1929

In the summer Josef and Anni travel to Avignon, Geneva, Biarritz, and Paris. Josef records these travels in photographs. In August they travel to Barcelona where they visit the International Exposition and its German Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Josef shows twenty glass paintings in an exhibition of Bauhaus masters' work in Zurich and Basel. His armchairs are exhibited at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Basel. He heads the wallpaper-design workshop for two years while its director, Hinnerk Scheper, is away in Moscow.

Anni designs a sound-absorbing and light-reflecting wallcovering using a new material, cellophane. The wallcovering is used in the auditorium of a trade union school—the Allgemeinen Deutschen Gewerkschaftsbundeschule—designed by Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer in Bernau, just outside Berlin. She receives her Bauhaus Diploma for this innovative work.

1930

In the summer the Alberses travel to Ascona, where they vacation with Bauhaus colleagues. Josef again documents their travels in photographs.

Josef continues his Bauhaus teaching under the new directorship of Mies van der Rohe. He becomes assistant director of the Bauhaus.

Anni’s wallhangings are included in an exhibition of modern textiles at the Bauhaus.

1931

Josef designs a small apartment with furnishings for the large Berlin Building Exhibition; begins his first sustained serial work, the Treble Clef gouaches.

Anni’s textiles are shown at the Berlin Building Exhibition and she is awarded a City of Berlin prize for her work.

1932

Funding is withdrawn from the Bauhaus by the city of Dessau and the school is forced to move to Berlin. Josef and Anni move to an apartment at 28 Sensburgerallee, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood of Berlin. In Berlin they meet Philip Johnson who is visiting from New York.

Josef has his first solo show at the Bauhaus: a comprehensive exhibition of his work in glass from 1920 to 1932.

Philip Johnson sees Anni’s textiles for the first time in her apartment.

1933

In August, after harassment by the Nazi authorities, Josef joins remaining faculty members in officially closing the Bauhaus. He resumes printmaking. On the recommendation of Philip Johnson and Edward M. M. Warburg at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Josef is invited to teach at the newly founded Black Mountain College, North Carolina, where he arrives on November 28. Josef describes his mission there as “To open eyes.”

1934

Josef is invited to give three lectures at the Lyceum Club, Havana. The Alberses travel to Cuba with their Black Mountain College colleagues and friends Ted and Bobbie Dreier. Josef’s recent work is exhibited concurrently.

Josef makes his first abstract oil paintings.

1935

In December the Alberses make the first of fourteen visits to Mexico. They travel to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Acapulco and visit the sites of Monte Albán, Mitla, and Teotihuacan.

1936

Josef begins a new series of abstract line drawings.

Inspired by her Mexican travels Anni makes two monumental weavings, Monte Albán and Ancient Writing.

1936–41

American galleries and museums hold more than twenty solo shows of Josef's work. Among them are J. B. Neumann’s New Art Circle and the Nierendorf Gallery in New York; The Germanic Museum at Harvard University; the Addison Museum of American Art; the San Francisco Museum of Art; and the Katharine Kuh Gallery, Chicago. Works shown include glass constructions from the Bauhaus period and new graphics and oil paintings.

1937

Josef’s paintings are included in the first American Abstract Artists exhibition at Squibb Galleries in New York City in April.

In New York, Anni is at the docks to meet their former Bauhaus colleagues Walter and Ise Gropius who are emigrating to the USA.

1938

Anni helps the Gropiuses and Herbert Bayer assemble material for the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Bauhaus 1919–1928. She contributes an essay on the weaving workshop to the exhibition catalogue.

1939

The Alberses become United States citizens. In June they travel to Mexico where Josef teaches at Gobert College in Tlalpan.

Anni’s parents flee Nazi Germany and arrive by ship in Veracruz, Mexico, where Josef and Anni meet them.

1940–41

The Alberses spend a sabbatical year in New Mexico and Mexico. In the spring Josef teaches Basic Design and Color at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

A traveling exhibition of jewelry from common household objects created by Anni and Black Mountain College student Alex “Bill” Reed, opens at the Willard Gallery in New York City.

1942

Josef’s series of zinc-plate lithographs, the Graphic Tectonics, begun as a series of drawings at Harvard in the summer of 1941 are executed in North Carolina.

1943

Josef begins a series of geometric painted abstractions.

1944

Anni is commissioned by Philip Johnson to create a drapery fabric for the Rockefeller Guest House at 242 East 52nd Street in New York City. Using cotton chenille, white plastic, and copper foil yarn she creates a fabric which is transformed into a sparkling surface at night.

1946

The Alberses leave Black Mountain College in October on a year-long sabbatical. They travel to Mexico via Canada, the Midwest, California, Texas, and New Mexico.

1947

Josef spends most of this sabbatical year painting in Mexico. He begins the Variant (or Adobe) series of paintings, which evoke the domestic adobe architecture of Mexico.

With the pictorial weaving La Luz, Anni inaugurates a new phase of her work that will continue through the next two decades. In Mexico, Anni collects pre-Columbian and contemporary textiles for the Harriett Engelhardt Memorial Collection at Black Mountain College (now housed at the Yale University Art Gallery).

1948

Josef is invited to serve on the Advisory Council of the School of the Arts, Yale University. His first post–World War II exhibition in Germany, Josef Albers, Hans Arp, Max Bill, is held at Galerie Herbert Herrmann, Stuttgart. In October Josef agrees to be rector of Black Mountain College, which is experiencing troubled times.

1949

Josef and Anni resign from Black Mountain College in March and leave in May. They travel to Mexico City where Josef teaches at the National University (UNAM). In August they return to New York City. Josef is appointed visiting professor at the Cincinnati Art Academy and Pratt Institute, New York, where he teaches color courses. Josef makes his first linear Structural Constellation engravings and his first studies—in black and white—for Homage to the Square paintings.

Edward Kauffman and Philip Johnson organize the exhibition Anni Albers Textiles at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which opens in September.

1950

Josef starts his Homage to the Square series of paintings. He is a visiting critic at Yale University Art School (January and February) and visiting professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (summer). In the fall he accepts the appointment as chair of the new Department of Design at Yale. The Alberses move to New Haven, Connecticut. Invited by its architect, Walter Gropius, Josef contributes to the interiors of the Harvard University Graduate Center. He designs the brick wall America for the reverse wall of the fireplace in the commons.

Invited by Walter Gropius, Anni contributes to the interiors of the Harvard University Graduate Center. Anni designs textiles for bedspreads and room dividing curtains for student dormitories.

1952

The Alberses travel to Mexico where they visit the Maya ruins in the Yucatán for the first time.

Josef travels to Cuba where he is invited to teach. He designs brick fireplaces for two Connecticut homes designed by his Yale colleague, architect King-lui Wu and has his first one-person exhibition in New York at the Sidney Janis Gallery.

Anni designs textiles for Knoll.

1953

The Alberses return to Latin America. They travel extensively in Chile and Peru.

Josef teaches in the Department of Architecture, Universidad Catòlica, Santiago, and at the Institute of Technology, Lima.

1954

In Hawaii, Josef teaches at the University of Honolulu.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts has an exhibition of Anni’s weavings.

Josef is appointed visiting professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm, West Germany.

1955

Josef returns to the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm, as visiting professor in the summer.

1956

The Yale University Art Gallery mounts a retrospective exhibition of Josef’s work.

1957

Josef has his first solo exhibition at Galerie Denise René, Paris.

In January Anni’s first textile commission for a synagogue, ark panels for Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, is installed.

1958

Josef retires from Yale University Art School, but remains as visiting critic until 1960. He continues to be invited as visiting teacher to art schools across America.

1959

Josef is awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship. His mural Two Structural Constellations is engraved in the lobby of the Corning Glass Building in Manhattan.

On Designing, a compilation of Anni’s writings on design and aesthetics, is published by Pellango Press in New Haven. MIT presents the exhibition Anni Albers. Pictorial Weavings.

1961

Josef designs the mural Two Portals for the lobby of the Time and Life Building in Manhattan and a brick altar wall for St. Patrick’s Church, Oklahoma City.

Anni is awarded the American Institute of Architects’ Craftmanship Medal. She receives a second synagogue commission for ark panels for Congregation B’nai Israel in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

1962

Josef is awarded a Graham Foundation fellowship and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Yale University, one of the first of numerous honorary degrees he will receive over the next fourteen years.

1963

Manhattan, Josef’s monumental mural in red, white, and black, is installed in the Pan Am Building in New York City, and Repeat and Reverse, a stainless steel sculpture, is installed over the entryway of Yale's new Art and Architecture building. Interaction of Color, with text and silkscreen plates based on the Albers color course, is published by Yale University Press. Josef is visiting artist at Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Los Angeles, where he creates the Interlinear lithograph series.

Accompanying Josef to Tamarind, Anni begins to experiment with lithography techniques, creating Enmeshed I and Enmeshed II, her first works in this medium.

1964

Josef is invited back to Tamarind as a fellow. He creates a series of eight Homage to the Square color lithographs for the portfolio Midnight and Noon. The International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, organizes the exhibition Josef Albers: Homage to the Square, which opens in Caracas in March and travels to museums throughout the Americas through January 1967.

Anni is invited back to Tamarind as a fellow and produces the portfolio Line Involvements.

1965

Josef gives a series of guest lectures at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. The lectures are published as Search Versus Re-Search in 1969.

Anni’s seminal text On Weaving is published by Wesleyan University Press.

1967

Josef receives the Carnegie Institute Award for Painting at Pittsburgh International Exhibition. His painted mural Growth and brick mural Loggia Wall are installed on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Anni completes Six Prayers, a commemorative tapestry of six panels commissioned by the Jewish Museum in New York.

1968

Josef receives the Grand Prix at the third Print Biennial (Bienal Americana de Grabado), Santiago, and the Grand Prix for painting from the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He is elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. The traveling exhibition Albers, organized by the Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte in Münster, opens in Münster in April and travels in Europe through January 1970.

1970

The Alberses move from 8 North Forest Circle, New Haven, to 808 Birchwood Drive, Orange, Connecticut.

Josef is made an honorary citizen of his birthplace, Bottrop.

Anni gives up weaving and devotes herself to printmaking.

1971

Albers is the first living artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

1972

Continuing his collaboration with architects, Josef designs the steel sculpture Two Supraportas for the facade of the new Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte in Münster. Other architectural works for this year are Gemini, a stainless steel relief for the Grand Avenue National Bank lobby in Kansas City, Missouri, and Reclining Figure, a mosaic mural for the Celanese Building in Manhattan (destroyed in 1980).

1973

Publication of Formulation: Articulation, a screenprint portfolio that reprises Josef’s life’s work. Josef designs a free-standing sculptural wall for Stanford University. He receives the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

1975

Josef receives the Fine Arts Medal of the American Institute of Architects.

An exhibition of Anni’s work is shown at the Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf and at the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin.

1976

At the invitation of a former student, the architect Harry Seidler, Josef designs a large stainless steel sculpture, Wrestling, for Seidler’s Mutual Life Center in Sydney. Josef Albers dies March 25 in New Haven, Connecticut.

1977

The exhibition Anni Albers Prints and Drawings is presented at the Brooklyn Museum.

1980

Josef’s Stanford Wall (designed in 1973) is constructed on the Stanford University campus.

1981

Anni receives the American Craft Council’s gold medal.

1982

Anni designs a range of textiles for Sunar.

1983

Anni presides over the opening of the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop, Germany.

1985

The retrospective exhibition The Woven and Graphic Arts of Anni Albers is mounted by the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. and travels to the Yale University Art Gallery.

1990

Anni is awarded an honorary doctorate by the Royal College of Art in London.

1994

Anni Albers dies May 9, the same day as her wedding, in Orange, Connecticut. She is buried next to Josef in grave sites they selected together, with simple headstones she carefully designed.