Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The papers of painter, printmaker, and art teacher Josef Albers date from 1929 to 1970 and measure 1.5 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, writings, a recorded lecture, and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of printed materials.
Biographical material consists of a curriculum vitae, bibliographic lists, a transcript of a "Yale Reports" radio interview in which Albers discusses art as a port of general education, and a photocopy of a letter from Eugene W. Leake of the Maryland Institute discussing a work by Albers in the Baltimore Museum.
Writings and Lectures are primarily photocopies of poems and typescripts by Albers concerning his theories on art, as well as an sound tape reel recording of Albers delivering a lecture at Yale University. There are also photocopied typescripts about Albers written by others including a typescript "Josef Albers" by Hans Jean Arp.
Printed material primarily consists of clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs, some of which are annotated by Albers. There are also two exhibition catalogs for Anni Albers, press releases, a copy of poetry publication "Origin 8," 2 books by Albers, "Embossed Linear Compositions," and "Josef Albers: Poems and Drawings," the book, "American Abstract Artists, 1936-1966," and miscellaneous brochures.
Photographs consist of two copies of the same image of Josef Albers pin registering one of his prints with Tamarind artisan Ken Tyler.
Josef Albers papers, 1929-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2016 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been scanned include blank pages and duplicates. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Also found in the Archives is an oral history interview with Albers conducted by Sevim Fesci in 1968, and a collection of letters from Albers to J. B. Naumann that was loaned to the Archives by the Brooklyn Museum for microfilming and is available on microfilm reel 911.
Josef Albers (1888-1976) of Dessau, Germany, Black Mountain, North Carolina, and New Haven, Connecticut, was a painter, printmaker, and art teacher advocating a disciplined approach to composition, form, and color.
The papers are primarily in English and German, with some materials in Italian and French.
The Josef Albers papers were donated by the artist in 1969 and 1970. A small collection of additional Albers papers and an audio recording of a lecture with an unknown provenance were integrated.
This site provides access to the papers of Josef Albers in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2016, and total 1,039 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001