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Josef Albers

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Josef Albers
American, born Germany
(Bottrop, Westphalia (Germany), 1888 - 1976, New Haven, Connecticut)

Josef Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany, and lived there until age 45 when he and his wife, Anni (1899-1994), a textile artist and printmaker, immigrated to the United States to teach at Black Mountain College, N.C. His move was directly related to Nazi pressure, thus lack of funding, that closed the Bauhaus School where Albers had been a student and later an instructor.

Albers' father was a house painter who also painted stage sets, glass and other decorative objects. Young Josef sometimes helped him and learned how to create faux wood grain, but never saw himself as an artist per se.

All that changed when he moved to the United States. At the Bauhaus, Albers was a respected teacher of glass painting, visual perception, furniture design, freehand drawing, typography and other areas in the craft of art. In America he became a revered professor and artist, ultimately appointed the head of the Department of Design at Yale University in 1950.

excerpted from Tara Cady Sartorius, "Color as Actor," "Arts and Actvities", June/Summer 2008, pp. 30-32.

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