Sidney Janis

Anni had wonderful memories of the presentation, usually twice a year, of the latest watercolors by Klee; he would tack them up to the wall in a corridor of the Weimar Bauhaus. Because she had “valuta”—hard currency—from her uncles, she was able to buy a wonderful Klee watercolor. (This time she did not resent her family’s wealth.) In the 1950s, Anni decided to sell the work, and turned to the art dealer, Sidney Janis. Janis, a former shirt manufacturer who had one of the most successful art galleries of pioneering modernism, represented Josef with bi-annual exhibitions. He also showed work by Mondrian, Arp, and Léger, and the Alberses were grateful to him especially for his fine shows of Variants and Homages to the Square. Anni would often recall that, in the years when finances were tight, whenever she phoned Sidney Janis to say that she and Josef had an urgent need for cash, he came through for them quickly.