Black Mountain College

From the moment that they were invited to Black Mountain College, the Alberses were excited about the recently-founded, experimental school that had the intention of making art the focal point of its curriculum with Josef its professor.

Shortly after the Alberses had arrived there in November of 1933, Anni saw a notice tacked onto a white Ionic column and wondered how it was possible to hammer a small nail into marble. She walked up to inspect it and realized that she was looking at wood painted white. To her, this was suddenly the essence of where she was: a region full of trees, where something that seemed ancient and rock-hard was, actually, new and malleable, where fresh white paint suggested a new start.

By then, Anni and Josef had befriended Bobbie and Ted Dreier. Anni was enchanted to learn that, for their honeymoon, they had gone on a camping trip, hiking with backpacks and spending the nights in sleeping bags in tents. Anni felt that an equivalent couple—from well-established patrician families—would, in Europe, have had their honeymoon at an expensive hotel in a spa like Baden-Baden, arriving with multiple steamer trunks. She reveled in the new informality.

Josef Albers teaching at Black Mountain College