Josef & Anni Albers Foundation


Maximilian Schell

The actor and film director Maximilian Schell, having purchased some of Josef’s paintings at the Sidney Janis Gallery, had the idea of using an enlarged Homage to the Square as a stage set for Hamlet. Janis arranged for Schell to go to Orange and meet the Alberses. A friendship ensued; Schell and his partner, Dagmar Hirtz, were at the Alberses’ house for lunch on the occasion of Josef’s eighty-eighth birthday, which ended up being the same day that he went to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he died a week later. Schell maintained a close relationship with Anni, who, in the last years of her life, would often visit him on his farm in Austria and would attend his performances at the Salzburg Festival. Schell put on an exhibition of Anni and Josef’s work at the Villa Stuck in Munich in 1990 and included footage of Anni in the documentary film he made about Marlene Dietrich in 1984.

Maximilian Schell with Anni, 1990. Photo: Ronald Zimmerman