“In design sometimes one plus one equals three.”
• Albers was born in Bottrop, Westphalia (Germany).
• Initially, a teacher, he taught general elementary school in his hometown of Bottrop, in the north western industrial Ruhr region of Germany between 1908 and 1913
• He studied art in Essen and Munich and was certified as an art teacher after attending the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin from 1913 to 1915
• Enrolled as a student at the prestigious Weimar Bauhaus in 1920
• Albers independently studied stained glass. He also designed furniture, household objects, a typeface, and developed a keen eye as a photographer.
• Was appointed “journeyman” and placed in charge of the Bauhaus glass workshop
• In 1923 he began teaching in the Preliminary Course in material and design teaching furniture design, drawing, and calligraphy
• On May 9, 1925 he married Anni Albers who was also a student at the Bauhaus
• He was promoted to Professor (Master) in 1925, the year the Bauhaus moved to Dessau. His work at this time included furniture design and work in stained and sandblasted glass, first making glass assemblages from debris he found at the Weimar town dump, then sandblasting glass constructions and designing large stained-glass windows for buildings.
• Funding was withdrawn from the Bauhaus in 1932 and the school moved to Berlin
• In 1933 due to Nazi pressure, the faculty members officially closed the Bauhaus
• Albers immigrated to the United States and joined the faculty of Black Mountain College, North Carolina, an experimental school operating with the principle that fine art integrated all learning.
• Albers ran the painting program until he resigned from Black Mountain 1949
• In the series ‘Homage to the Square’, begun in 1949, Albers explored the interactions of flat coloured squares arranged concentrically. He often made notes recording colours, paints and varnishes as well as the spatial proportions and the mathematical schemes used, on the back of his works, as he wanted people to understand his approach to art.
• From 1950 to 1958 Albers held the position of Chair at the Department of Design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
• Until his death in 1976, Albers had many exhibitions, guest taught and lectured in various universities, was granted fellowships, grants, awards and numerous honorary degrees. He continued to paint and write, including the design of abstract album covers. staying in New Haven with his wife, textile artist Anni Albers
• The Josef Albers Museum was opened in 1983 in Bottrop by his wife Anni Albers