Finding Aid for the Josef Albers Papers, 1933-1961 MS.36

Summary Information

The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives10 East 71st Street
New York, NY, 10021
 © 2012 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Albers, Josef.
Josef Albers Papers
0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Artwork, exhibition catalogs, writings, and clippings that document the career of artist and art educator Josef Albers.

Preferred Citation

Josef Albers Papers. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.

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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.

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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.

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Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

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Administrative Information

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


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

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Shannon Yule, 2011.

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Related Materials

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.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Exhibition catalogs.
  • Photographs.
  • Woodcuts (prints)

Personal Name(s)

  • Albers, Josef--Exhibitions.
  • Albers, Josef.


  • Art, Modern--20th century.
  • Art--Study and teaching.

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Collection Inventory

1 1

Artwork - Woodcuts

Aquarium, 1933

Homeward, 1933

View, 1936


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1 2

Artwork - Photographic reproductions

Glass Paintings

Nochvollen, circa 1926

K-Trio, circa 1927

Steps, circa 1927

Klaviaturen, circa 1928

Cylinders, circa 1928


Easterly, 1933

Elephant, 1933

Aquarium, 1933

Together, 1933

Wings, 1934

Showcase, 1934


Prefatio, 1942


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1 3

Artwork - Reproductions

Hochbanten, circa 1927

In the water, circa 1928

Elephant, 1933

City, undated

Steps, undated


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1 4-5

Biographical material [2 folders]

Contains reprints, publications, and newspaper and magazine clippings of articles about Josef Albers. Some material stored in MS Oversize Box A.


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1 6


International art exhibition at the Musee du Jeu de Paume, 1937 [exhibition announcement letter]

Josef Albers, Artists' Gallery, December 6-31, 1938 [exhibition catalog]

Charles Egan & Sidney Janis Present Albers at 2 Galleries, January 4-February 12, 1949 [exhibition catalog]

10th Anniversary Exhibition, Cincinnati Modern Art Society, April 13-May 10, 1949 [exhibition catalog]

Albers at the Cincinnati Art Museum, October 22-November 22, 1949 [exhibition catalog]

Artists of the Graduate Center : Albers, Arp, Bayer, Kepes, Lippold, Miro, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, January 22-March 4, 1951 [exhibition announcement]

New Work by Josef Albers, Sidney Janis Gallery, January 7-26, 1952 [press release]

Formal Organization in Modern Painting, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, November 1-29, 1953 [exhibition catalog, 2 copies]

Exhibition of Recent Work by Josef Albers, Essex Art Association, June 12-28, 1953 [exhibition announcement]

Object and Image in Modern Art and Poetry, Yale University Art Gallery, April 30-June 14, 1954 [exhibition catalog]


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1 7


Albers, de Kooning, Gorky, Guston, Kline, Motherwell, Pollock, Rothko : An Exhibition in Tribute to Sidney Janis, Hetzel Union Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, February 3-24, 1958 [exhibition catalog]

Albers, Sidney Janis Gallery, March 24-April 19, 1958 [exhibition announcement]

8 American Painters : Albers, de Kooning, Gorky, Guston, Kline, Motherwell, Pollock, Rothko, Sidney Janis Gallery, January 5-31, 1959 [exhibition catalog, 2 copies]

American Prints, 1950-1960, Yale University Gallery, March 23-May 24, 1960 [checklist]


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1 8


Modern Works Lent by Distinguished Artists, Writers, Architects, Otto Gerson Gallery, February 28-March 25, 1961 [exhibition catalog]

Josef Albers, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, March 10-April 10, 1961 [exhibition catalog]

Paintings, Sculpture, Prints and Drawings Presented as Part of the Institute's Centennial Celebration From Private Collections of Alumni, The New Gallery, Hayden Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 1-30, 1961 [exhibition catalog]

The Sidney Janis Painters : Albers, Baziotes, Gorky, Gottlieb, Guston, Kline, De Kooning, Motherwell, Pollock, Rothko, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, April 8-May 7, 1961 [exhibition catalog]

Bauhaus II. Generation, Galerie Suzanne Bollag, June 1961. [exhibition catalog]


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1 9


"Concerning Art Instruction." Black Mountain College Bulletin 2, circa 1934. [Essay by Albers]

"Present and / or Past." reprint from Design, April, 1946. [Essay by Albers, stored in MS Oversize Box A]

"Art Education and General Education." Report of the Conference for Elementary and Secondary Teachers and Supervisors of Art in Connection with the 1952 Festival of Contemporary Arts, March 15, 1952. [Excerpts from an address by Albers]

"Josef Albers Art Feature." Reprint from New Mexico Quarterly, Winter 1953. [Essay and reproductions of artwork by Albers]

Portfolio of Student Work. The School of Design at Yale University, circa 1955. Published by George Wittenborn, Inc. [contains essay by Albers]

"The Teaching of Visual Art II: Training in Visual Experience." Yale Reports, number 54, 1957. [Radio program transcript, Albers is one of the guests]

[Untitled] from student publication of the North Carolina State College School of Design, Volume 7, Number 3, Winter 1957. [Essay]

[Untitled] Reprint from Daedalus, Winter 1960. [essay]

"In a collection of emblems, two visual formulations of the past deserve reference." reprinted from Eight Symbols by Norman Ives, 1960. [Essay, 2 copies]

[Untitled] Reprint from Yale Literary Magazine, 1960. [Essays]

Recent Sculpture, Stable Gallery, February 23-March 12, 1960. [Robert Engman exhibition announcement, contains essay by Albers, 2 copies]

"Die Zwanziger Jahre." Geisteswissenschaftlicher Kongress der Landeshaupstadt Munchen, November 1960. [Program for German humanities conference, Albers was a panelist]

"Art at 410 Park Avenue." Chase Manhattan Bank, circa 1960 [Brochure, painting, Homage to the Square: At Night, represented]

[Untitled] from University of Cincinnati College of Applied Arts publication, undated. [Essay, Construction represented]

"Graphic Tectonic," undated. [Typed draft]

[Untitled], undated. [Essays, typed draft]

Structural Constellations, published by George Wittenborn, Inc., undated. [announcement and order form postcard]

Structural Constellations, published by Spiral Press, undated. [announcement postcard]

Josef Albers: Poems and Drawings, published by Readymade Press, undated. [order form postcard]

1934-1960, undated

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