maiden name: Fleischmann
German, 20th century, female.
Active in the USA.
Born 12 June 1899, in Berlin; died 10 May 1994, in Orange (Connecticut), USA.
Draughtswoman, textile designer, printmaker.
Having studied in Berlin and Hamburg, Anni Albers went on to study at the Bauhaus from 1922 to 1930. She married Josef Albers and became an assistant teacher at a weaving workshop. In 1933, the two emigrated to the USA, founding the art department at Black Mountain College, a newly established liberal arts school in North Carolina. In 1949, Anni and Josef moved to New Haven (Connecticut) where he served as chair for the design department at Yale University.
As early on as her first teaching post at the Bauhaus, where she ran technical classes, she taught students to combine natural and synthetic materials in weaving, saying: ‘The material determines its own limits in the face of the tasks imposed by the imagination.’ After emigrating to the USA, she continued to teach this philosophy at Black Mountain College and was thus part of the considerable influence exerted by the college on the artistic movement that would go on to become the American School of the 1940s. Challenging historical distinctions between high and low art forms, she carved out space for fibre arts within the discourse of fine art. Her pedagogical approach not only integrated art, craft, and industry, but also emphasised the cultivation of moral character, self-sufficiency, and independence from machinery....