Friday, November 6, 2009

Designer of the Month: Anni Albers

That's right my friends, November's Designer of the Month is the textile artist and weaver Anni Albers. Even though she's usually discussed in connection to her husband, the artist and designer Josef Albers, Anni not only shared a level of fame on par with her husband, but her work, while created with an aesthetic similar to that of Josef's, is notable in its own right. So we'll get to Josef at a later date, but for now, I thought that Anni Albers would be an appropriate choice this month, especially in light of the Bauhaus 1919-1939:Workshops for Modernity exhibition that opens on Sunday, November 8 at the Museum of Modern Art (through January 25).

Anni Albers. Photograph by Nancy Newhall, 1947. Courtesy of The Joseph and Anni Albers Foundation.

Ok, so this is a pretty serious image of Anni Albers. How about we try this instead?

Yep, that's Josef and Anni, in one of the best-known images of the couple. Anni Albers, who was born Annelise Fleischmann (1899-1994), came to the Bauhaus as a young student in 1922.[1] As a student, Albers entered the weaving workshop because, as a woman, it was the one that was most open to her (despite the progressive nature of the school, it restricted women as to the fields that they could concentrate on - I'll go into more information about the school next week).[2] Anni and Joseph met at the Bauhaus and were married in 1925.[3] As I've already mentioned, my focus this month is going to be on Anni rather than Josef, although it will be important to talk a little bit about Josef's career in relation to Anni as well. I've decided to talk about Alber's career chronologically, discussing her work at the Bauhaus next week, in the U.S. at Black Mountain College in week 2, and at Yale and the later years in week 3.
[1] The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation online, “An Introduction,” (accessed November 4, 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

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