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Josef Albers papers

Creator:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Names:
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Leake, Eugene, 1911-  Search this
Tyler, Kenneth E.  Search this
Extent:
1.5 linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Poems
Interviews
Date:
1929-1970
Summary:
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.
Scope and Contents:
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.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1957-1970 (3 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings and Lecture, 1936-1967 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1929-1969 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1968 (1 folder; Box 2)
Biographical / Historical:
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.

Josef Albers was born on March 19, 1888 in Bottrop, Westphalia, Germany, the only child of Lorenz Albers, a housepainter, and Magdelena (Schumacher) Albers. He attended the Präparanden-Schule in Langenhorst from 1902 to 1905 and then the teachers college in Büren, graduating in 1908. He became an instructor in several Westphalian primary schools.

Albers studied at the Royal Art School in Berlin, the Arts and Crafts School (Folkwang School) in Essen, and at the Art Academy in Munich under Franz Stuck before enrolling at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1920. In 1923, he became an instructor and in 1925, when the school was transplanted to Dessau, he became a Bauhausmeister, teaching his fundamental design course. He remained in that position in Dessau and Berlin until 1933, when under pressure from National Socialism, the school was shut down. In that year, Albers emigrated to the United States, becoming a professor of painting at Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

In 1949, Albers moved to Yale University where he taught in the Department of Design and served as Chairman of the Art Department. Following his retirement in 1960, Albers continued to live in New Haven with his wife, textile artist Anni Albers.

Albers served as a guest teacher in Ulm, Germany, and in many colleges and art schools in the United States, Mexico, and South America. He was also an author of poems and books concerning art theory.

Josef Albers died on March 25, 1976 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Related Materials:
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.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Josef Albers papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Painters  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Poems
Interviews
Citation:
Josef Albers papers, 1929-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.albejose
See more items in:
Josef Albers papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-albejose
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