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Josef Albers Papers

Identifier: MS.036

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of artwork, exhibition catalogs and announcements, writings, and biographical material that document the career of artist and art educator Josef Albers. The material dates from 1933-1961. The artwork includes three original woodcut prints by Albers, as well as photographs and reproductions of some of his paintings and prints. The writings contain mostly reprints and typed drafts of essays by Albers, as well as excerpts from an address, a transcript from a radio program, and announcements for publications. Biographical material includes reprints, publications, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Albers.


  • 1933-1961


Access Restrictions

These records are open for research under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives access policy. Contact the Archives Department for further information at

Biographical Note

Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a German-born American artist, art educator and theorist. He was born in Bottrop, Westphalia, Germany and enrolled in the Bauhaus in 1920. Three years later he joined the faculty, where he taught alongside Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Lazslo Moholy-Nagy. In 1925, Albers married Annelise Fleischmann, a Bauhaus student. When the Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933, the pair immigrated to the United States, joining the faculty at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Albers headed the painting program there until he left to head the Department of Design at Yale University in 1950. He retired from teaching in 1958, but continued to create art and write about art until his death in 1976.

Josef Albers worked in many mediums as a designer, painter, printmaker, and photographer, but is best known for his abstract paintings, particularly his series Homage to the Square. He was a highly influential educator; his students included Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Susan Weil, and Eva Hesse. In 1971, he was the first living artist to be honored with a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Albers’ wife Anni (1899-1994) was a well-known textile artist and also worked as a printmaker and art educator.


0.25 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Artwork, exhibition catalogs, writings, and clippings that document the career of artist and art educator Josef Albers.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material.


Gift of Josef Albers, 1946, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1961.

Related Materials

"Most of my clippings, exhibition catalogues and lists and comments are classified at the library of the Museum of Modern art, in New York; and earlier material from my work in Europe, particularly in connection with the Bauhaus is assembled at the Busch-Reisinger museum at Harvard university in Cambridge, Mass."--Josef Albers letter to the Frick Art Reference Library, Oct. 27, 1954.

Josef Albers Papers, 1929-1970. Archives of American Art.

The Papers of Josef and Anni Albers. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

Josef Albers Papers (MS 32). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

Josef Albers Correspondence with Frick Art Reference Library Staff. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Shannon Yule, 2011.

Finding Aid for the Josef Albers Papers, 1933-1961 MS.036
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Shannon Yule
© 2012 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Repository

10 East 71st Street
New York NY 10021 United States