Series IIa: Teaching 1925–1976, undated

Teaching includes materials created and collected by Josef Albers in his capacity as a teacher and administrator at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, Germany; at Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, North Carolina, United States; at Hochschule fur Gestaltung (HfG), Ulm, Germany; and finally at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Materials regarding the Bauhaus include correspondence, course descriptions, meeting minutes, and printed materials. Of note is the material regarding the closure and reopening of the school in 1933. Other material relating to the Bauhaus is found in the Subject Files series.

The bulk of the subseries is contained in the Black Mountain College materials, which includes correspondence, administrative files, speeches, writings by Josef and other faculty members on the college, reports, lists, printed materials on the college, course descriptions and notes, teaching notes, and songs written by students about the college. Highlights of the materials include the Alberses’ first letters from the United States to friends in Germany; a eulogy for Mark Dreier written by Josef; letters regarding the resignation of Jonathan Andrew Rice, Josef Albers and Theodore (Ted) Dreier; Josef’s logo design for the college; several speeches by Josef given around the country to grow support for the college; course notes of Si Sillman and Harry Seidler; a humorous birthday card made by students for Josef; and the near complete run of Black Mountain College Bulletins.

Josef’s time as visiting professor at the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Ulm is reflected in correspondence and printed materials, including correspondence with school founders Inge Aicher-Scholl and Max Bill, and colleague Gui Bonsiepe. Of note is the report by Josef on his course in basic drawing, design and color and the various notes and documents collected by Josef relating to the school.

Materials regarding Josef’s tenure as professor at Yale University in the newly formed School of Design and following his retirement is primarily documented through correspondence, notes and printed materials. Included among the materials is a 1961 petition requesting that Josef return as a visiting painting critic, “Ten Commandments for Color Course” (author unidentified), and the various Yale publications with contents on Josef.

Finally, the subseries includes various teaching materials demonstrating Josef’s teaching exercises employed throughout his career, such as Matiere materials, typofacture materials, sketches and drawings, and various
printed materials.

It is important to note that Albers disliked administrative work and avoided generating material in the conduct of administrative affairs. Therefore, there are few files reflecting his administrative work found in the subseries. Albers donated the bulk of his papers relating to his tenure as Chairman of the Department of Design at Yale to the Manuscripts and Archives Collection of Yale University (see Box 41, Folders 20 and 21)

Description Dates Box Folder
Bauhaus, Weimar and Dessau

Correspondence (primarily regards JA’s academic rank, focusing
on when he was granted the title of professor and why he was
not informed; includes meeting minutes, affidavits, handwritten
notes and printed material)

1930–1933 34 1

Letter to Mies van der Rohe setting out conditions for Bauhaus
reopening, July 21

1933 34 2

Bauhaus course descriptions

1927–1929, undated 34 3

Correspondence with Hannes Meyer (includes letter regarding
employment contract at Dessau)

1928, 1931, 1933 34 4

Bauhaus Dessau buildings (clipping and postcard with
handwritten descriptions)

undated 34 5

Bauhaus Zeitschrift für Gestaltung, no. 1 (includes JA’s
“Kombinationsschrift 3” with handwritten notes)

1931 34 6

Bauhausler addresses and lists

undated 34 7

Letter from George Schmidt from Kassel about Gestalt (includes
typed notes regarding color effects and contrast)

1930 34 8

Statements by Hannes Meyer regarding Zeiss Ikon AG, October 28

1929 34 9

Clipping regarding work contribution for Bauhaus (includes typed
notes regarding color effects and contrast), February 15

1933 34 10

Documents regarding JA’s teaching position (includes letters
from JA to Ernst Koch and Professor Blüm; photocopy of letter
from JA to a colleague Wagner in Breslau);

1925–1932 34 11

Letters regarding the closing of the Bauhaus (includes photograph)

1933 34 12

Meeting minutes, photocopy, July 20

1933 34 13

Bauhaus portfolios pamphlet by Heinz Peters (includes letter)

1958, undated 34 14

Pamphlet 3. Geisteswissenschaftlicher Kongress der
Landeshauptstadt Mönchen
“Die Zwanziger Jahre,”
November 21–25 1960

1960 89 37
Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG), Ulm

Aicher-Scholl, Inge (includes clipping on Aicher-Scholl)

1953–1964 35 1

Albers, Ingela

1954 35 2

Bäumler, Gisela

1963–1967 35 3

Bill, Max

1953–1955 35 4

Bonsiepe, Gui

1963–1967 35 5

Goldring, Maurice

1955 35 6(1)

Gomringer, Eugen

undated 35 6(2)

Kietermann, Renate

1964 35 7

Krampen, Martin (regarding film on JA teaching)

1954–1965, undated 35 8

Maldonado, Tomás

1963–1964 35 9

Rosner, Johanna

1954, 1963 35 10

Postcards from students for Christmas and New Year

circa 1955–1956 35 11

Materials regarding JA’s position at HfG through Exchange of
Persons Headquarters, Office of Public Affairs

1953 35 12

Miscellaneous notes and documents regarding HfG

1953–1955, undated 35 13

Statements on HfG by students and teachers

1963, 1968 35 14

“Report on a Course in Basic Drawing, Design and Color Given at
the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm,” U.S. Specialist Report by
JA, January 20

1954 35 15

“Report Albers”, Summer

1955 35 16

“My Courses at Ulm,” by JA in Form (includes “Albers’ Graphic
Tectonics,” by Irving Finkelstein), April 4,

1967 35 17

Printed materials on Ulm (includes postcards, articles on the
HfG in Industrial Design (1957) and IDEA (1955), issue of the
Ulmer Monatsspiegel with JA poem, newspaper clippings
from the 1960s on difficulties at HfG, article on HfG in
The New York Times, articles from German newspapers on
Albers’s teaching at Ulm)

1953–1968, undated 35 18

Ulm 6, 7, 8/9, 10/11, 12/13, 14/15/16, 17/18,
special print from 8/9, 12/14

1962–1967 36
Various teaching materials

Lists of JA students from various schools (includes class rosters
and grades)

1940–1960s, undated 37 1

Photographs of student work, “Harvard 1950”

1950s 37 2

“General questions,” handwritten, undated (Black Mountain College
Senior Division examination questions)

1940s 37 3

“Vorkurs teaching at the Bauhaus and its continuation in USA as
“Basic Design”, handwritten.

circa 1965 37 4

“Gestaltungslehre an der Staatlichen Werkkunstschule, Kassel”,
pamphlet showing student work done from a basic design class

undated 37 5

Statements on teaching (handwritten notes and proclamations
about teaching)

undated 37 6

Printed materials on basic design, possibly used in Teaching

undated 37 7

Drawings and sketches for teaching and artworks (includes drawings
of the eye vs the camera)

undated 37 8

Printed materials about the Guilloche

undated 37 9

Printed materials used in teaching (including advertisements, Kodak
handbook on color in photography)

undated 37 10

Notes for Pictorial Design and Advanced Painting

undated 37 11

Drawings for teaching exercises and studies (includes geometry and
proportion studies, also explanation of the Chinese Dovetail)

undated 37 12

Collage of photographs of the teachers’ college Albers attended in
Büren (1908–11).

undated 37 13

Notes from Albers’s class at Syracuse by Nicholas Apgar
(one photocopied sheet)

undated 37 14

Drawings of proportion, geometry, and ellipses

circa 1930s, undated 37 15

Lowthorpe School, Groton, MA, summer courses announcement, June 21–July 16

1943 37 16
Black Mountain College

Josef and Anni Albers first letter to friends in Germany, December 6

1933 38 1

Published excerpt from letter to Black Mountain College from
Thomas Whitney Surette

1935 38 2

Letter to Theodore (Ted) Dreier re: Black Mountain College

1937 38 3

(includes correspondence pertaining to the resignation of
John Andrew Rice as Rector of Black Mountain College )

1938–1941 38 4

(includes Report of Committee on the Deficit)

1942–1946 38 5

(Includes correspondence concerning salaries, and internal college
matters during the Albers’s sabbatical year)

1947 38 6

(includes correspondence concerning faculty and financial matters
during the period Josef Albers was rector)

1948 38 7

(includes correspondence pertaining to the resignation of Josef
and Anni Albers, Ted Dreier, and others)

1949 38 8

(includes letters requesting payment of pension and letter to
Charles Olson re:Albers’s pension)

1950–1957 38 9


1967–1970 38 10

Letter from Kenneth Kurtz to JA regarding JA’s poetry

undated 38 11

Architecture and grounds, remarks, reports and map

1945, 1948, undated 38 12

Fundraising memos and report

1943–1954 38 13

College report

undated 38 14

Report by Ted Dreier, May 10

1949 38 15

Report by Fred Schwartz

undated 38 16

College farm report

undated 38 17

List of faculty participating in art courses

1939–1940 38 18

Lists of 1944–1948 summer faculty

undated 38 19

Lists of graduates

1948 38 20

Fortune article on higher education and wartime, questionnaires
and responses

1942 38 21

Financial reports and memos

1938–1949 38 22

Pension and salary, memos and lists

1949, undated 38 23

Teaching appointment announcement

1934 38 24

Draft of JA resignation as member of Board of Fellows and rector

1949 38 25

Memo to the faculty of Black Mountain College regarding JA
resignation as member of Board of Fellows and rector, March 14

1949 38 26(1)

Telegram, memo and meeting notes regarding
Ted Dreier’s resignation

1949 38 26(2)

Notes on Kenneth Kurtz and Erwin Straus

undated 38 27

“As to the Suggestions made for the reorganization of Black
Mountain College”

undated 38 28

Sample contract for Introductory Psychology

1946 38 29

Community Council Constitution

undated 38 30

Unidentified writing on the belief and aims of Black Mountain

undated 38 31

Teaching notes for JA’s “Drawing” course, February 10

1941 38 33

Teaching notes for JA’s “Seeing Art” course, March

1943 38 34

Art courses and descriptions

1948–49 38 34

Examination questions

1936–1948 38 35

Aims of Black Mountain College

undated 38 36

Student government constitution

1942 39 1

Faculty appointment policies, November 14

1944 39 2


1947, undated 39 3

Board of Trustees, report and addresses, and meeting minutes

1945–1949, undated 39 4

Meeting minutes

1945–1949, undated 39 5

Meeting itinerary

undated 39 6

Unidentified writing regarding John Andrew Rice’s resignation,
March 2

1940 39 7

New emblem announcement leaflet by JA, March

1935 39 8

Mark Dreier eulogy by JA, typescript and carbons with handwritten
corrections, October

1941 39 9

Statements and writings on the war and Black Mountain College
(“Education in Times of Crisis” Erwin Straus, “Tentative Proposals
regarding the college and its relation to war” and untitled)

undated 39 10

Untitled radio interview with JA, Erwin Straus and Bob Wunsch.
Typescripts, carbons and mimeographs with handwritten
corrections March 13

1944 39 11
Statements and writings of others on Black Mountain College

From a letter of John Dewey

1940 39 12

Reflections on some recent conversations, by Ted Dreier

undated 39 12

Albert Einstein’s remarks to Black Mountain College at Lake Eden,
with handwritten note to JA by Bob Wunsch

undated 39 12

“Black Mountain College: The Years 1933 to 1942 Reminiscences
by John Evarts,” fragment

undated 39 12

Selection from a lecture by Walter Gropius, August 28

1944 39 12

Untitled by Heinrich Jalowetz

undated 39 12

“Black Mountain College Project” by Leverett Smith, Jr.

undated 39 12

“The Dead Letter and the Living Word” by Erwin Straus, December

1940 39 12

“A Note on Democracy as a Social Climate” by John Wallen, January

1945 39 12
Writings by Josef Albers

“A Second Forward” continuation of 1933–1934 “Forward”
typescripts and carbons with handwritten corrections, December

1936 39 13(1)

“Simply on Education,” portion of “A Second Forward,”
typescript carbon

1936 39 13(2)

“Art at Black Mountain College” for Junior Bazaar typescript carbons
with handwritten notes, December–January 1945–1946, and
handwritten note on published photo, unidentified

1945–1946 39 14

Heinrich Jalowetz eulogy, handwritten

1946 39 15

“Modern Education Can Be Realistic,” catalogue draft with

circa 1943 39 16

“Continuation of the Bauhaus in the USA: Black Mountain College”

undated 39 17

“The Story of Black Mountain College”

undated 39 18
Speeches by Josef Albers

“Abstract Art,” Asheville NC. Handwritten draft typescript carbons
with handwritten notes, August

1935 39 19(1)

“Truthfulness in Art.” Typescript and photocopy

1937 39 19(2)

Untitled, Black Mountain College luncheon, Harvard University.
Typescript carbons with handwritten corrections, April 29
[see Box 79 Folder 3]

1938 39 20

Untitled, Black Mountain College luncheon, Cosmopolitan Club
(New York). Typescript and carbons with handwritten corrections,
December 9

1938 39 21

Untitled, Black Mountain College Tea, Harvard University. Typescript
carbons, December 15

1938 39 22

“Concerning Abstract Art,” Greensboro Art Center (Greensboro, NC).
Typescript carbons with handwritten corrections and notes, Spring

1939 39 23

“On Stage Design,” Black Mountain College State Group.
Typescript carbons, September 27

1939 39 24(1)

Untitled, Black Mountain College first general meeting of 1939.
Typescript carbons with handwritten corrections, September 12

1939 39 24(2)

Untitled, Black Mountain College meeting, Museum of Modern Art
(New York). Typescripts, carbons and mimeograph with
handwritten corrections, January 9

1940 39 25

“The Meaning of Art,” Black Mountain College. Typescripts and
carbon with handwritten corrections, May 6

1940 39 26

Untitled speech, Black Mountain College meeting, New York,
typescripts, June 12

1940 40 1

Untitled speech, Black Mountain College first general meeting
of 1941, typescript carbons, September

1941 40 2

“On Education,” Black Mountain College first general meeting of
1945, typescripts and carbons with handwritten notes, October 6
1945 (includes postcard from The Society for the Advancement
of Education, May 24 1946), October 6

1945 40 3

“On Seeing Art,” Black Mountain College Art Club, handwritten,
June 3

1948 40 4

Untitled speech, Black Mountain College first general meeting
of 1948, handwritten, September 11

1948 40 5

“Art Instruction at Black Mountain College” written for the National
Society for the Study of Education Agencies of Technical Art
Education, typescript carbons with handwritten corrections,

1940 40 6

Untitled speech, School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston),
handwritten draft

undated 40 7

Untitled, Black Mountain College meeting at the residence of
Mr. and Mrs. Wiener (New York). Typescript carbon

undated 40 8

Untitled speech, Black Mountain College summer session opening,

undated 40 9

“Manual Work and Handicraft and their Relationship to Future
Architecture,” handwritten

undated 40 10

Untitled handwritten drafts on order and cleanliness at Black
Mountain College

undated 40 11

Untitled speech, first general meeting

undated 40 12

Writings on Black Mountain College

undated 40 13
Printed materials

“Tentative program for 1949–1950”, January 1

1949 40 16

Black Mountain College Bulletins

various 40 17–18


various 40 19


various 40 20


various 40 21

Thanksgiving activity flyer, November 28

1940 40 22

Design, April

1946 41 1

Letter to editor by JA, U.S. Camera magazine, February

1942 41 2

Articles on Black Mountain College (including article announcing
Albers’s arrival at BMC in Asheville Citizen and other papers,
“Art as a Fourth ‘R’” from Arts and Decoration, articles in NY
Herald Tribune
about Gropius and Breuer’s building for BMC,
clipping on the death of Mark Dreier, tearsheet of article on BMC
in Mademoiselle, 1942 article in Time on BMC, 1949 article in
the North Carolina State Art Society, News of Art about the
Alberses’ departure from BMC, other articles on BMC from Life
(undated), and Harper’s (1969) “Education on a Mountain” by
Louis Adamic from Harpers and Reader’s Digest)

various 41 3

Si Sillman’s course notes from JA’s color, design and structure
sculpture courses, photocopy

1948–1949 40 14

Harry Seidler’s course notes from JA’s color and design courses,

1942 40 15

Songs for JA, “Albers’ Song” and “Matière Song”

1944 41 4

Songs of Black Mountain College

undated 41 5(1)

Photograph sleeve and post office receipts

undated, 1948 41 5(2)

Article on Black Mountain College in Pageant

1957 118 1

Pamphlets on Blue Ridge and Lake Eden retreats
(Black Mountain College)

undated 118 2
Yale University

Yale University School of Architecture and Design/Art and
Architecture (includes 1961 student petition for JA to return as
visiting painting critic for 1961–1962)

1957–1962 41 6

Letter to Mrs. T. Dixon Walker regarding son Brad Walker, May 16

1958 41 7

Letters of recommendation for students includes handwritten notes

1960–1961 41 8

“Ten Commandments for Color Course,” typescript carbon

undated 41 9(1)

Notes on Yale, handwritten

undated 41 9(2)

Instructor appraisal form and anonymous report on JA by student,

1955, undated 41 10(1)

Statement on drawing and painting class

undated 41 10(2)
Printed Materials

"Bulletin of Yale University: Division of the Arts" Series 49 No. 2,
January 15

1953 41 11 (1)

“A Portfolio of Student Work from The School of Design at Yale
University,” (contains JA’s “The Origin of Art”)

circa 1955 41 12

“Art at Yale,” reporinted from Yale Alumni Magazine (contains JA’s
“To Design is to Plan and Organize” and “Art and General
Education,” a compilation of excerpts from a radio interview), April

1958 41 13

Yale Alumni Magazine

1958 41 14(1)

Yale News, “Josef Albers, Teacher and Artist,” by Richard Rhodes,
clipping, April 25

1958 41 14(2)

Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin with “A Tribute to Albers,”
by Will Grohmann, Vol. 24 No. 2, October

1958 41 15

Yale Literary Magazine “The Lit’s Salute to Albers,” (on the occasion
of JA’s 70th birthday), April

1958 41 16

Yale Literary Magazine (contains JA poems), Spring

1960 41 17(1)

The Yale Undergraduate, Spring

1960 41 17(2)

“Art and the Artist: Three Questions,” from Best of Yale Literary
Magazine 1836–1961
, photocopy

1961 41 18(1)

Quid Tum: The Graduate Program in the History of Art at Yale
. (cover by JA)

undated 41 18(2)

Eye press release (dedicated to JA’s 80th birthday), clipping
photocopies and unidentified fragment, April

1968 41 19

Donation of personal collection materials to Yale University
Department of Manuscripts and Archives, notes, brochure
and lists, April

1968 41 20–21

Pamphlet for Yale University Endowed Lectureships with
handwritten notes

undated 41 22

Comments on slides of work

undated 66 1

Slide lists and notes

1952–1958, undated 66 2

Summary of meeting on art and science. MIT Study Committee, Century Club, NYC. February 7–8.

1953 41 11 (2)

Anne (Nan) Chapin Weston color course notes, ca. November 1936 from the North Carolina State Archives

1936 38 37