Anni Albers 1989 -1994
Anni Albers was born in 1899 and is one of the best known textile artists of the 20th Century. In 1922 she attended the Bauhaus as a student where she later met and married Josef Albers. After its closure in 1933, they moved to Black Mountain College where she taught until 1949. In the 1940’s Anni Albers’ weavings were shown throughout the US and she published many articles on textiles and design, culminating in her 1949 show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The first of its kind for a textile artist at MoMA, the exhibition toured the US from 1951 until 1953, establishing Albers as the most famous weaver of the day. Albers worked primarily in textiles and then, late in life, as a printmaker. Her first prints were made in 1963 at the Tamarind Institute after which most of her time was devoted to the practices of lithography and screen printing. She died in 1994.
Anni Albers humbly dedicated her seminal book On Weaving to “my great teachers, the weavers of ancient Peru.” In her introduction to the book, Albers wrote:
I approached the subject as one concerned with the visual, structural side of weaving . . . My concern here was to comment on some textile principles underlying some evident fact. By taking up textile fundamentals and methods, I hoped to include in my audience not only weavers but also those whose work in other fields encompasses textile problems.
In her unique, luminous way, Anni Albers created an elegant, lucid, and entertaining book which in a mere 80 pages of text (supported by more than one hundred images) quietly and authoritatively provides both the general reader and the informed expert with a meditation on weaving, its history, its tools and techniques, and its implication for twentieth century design and designers.
A contemporary review of On Weaving in 1966 praised the book for its inspiration and wisdom. Capturing precisely Anni Albers’s intentions, the reviewer wrote “it should be read by every craftsman in this age where experiment has degenerated into mere concoction and first principles are disregarded in favor of the second rate.”
First published in 1965 by Wesleyan University Press, Anni Albers’s seminal textOn Weaving remained in print for two decades and was re-issued as a paperback in 2003.