Textiles Inspiration: Anni Albers 1899 – 1994



Anni Albers, originally Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann, was said to be one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Hailing form Berlin and a famous student of the Bauhaus (which had only been in existence for 2 years at the time of Anni’s enrolment) where she met and married her life long partner artist and printmaker Josef Albers in 1925.






Anni was only allowed to study the weaving course at the art college (due to the fact she was female she was unable to study the glass course she had preferred and many others that were restricted to men only), she excelled however and learnt to love the medium which she used to explore and develop pieces of real interest and diversity using unusual yarns and materials. The Bauhaus concentrated on production rather than craft during her second year of study which helped to focus Anni into developing some wonderful techniques like light reflection, sound absorption, durability, and minimized wrinkling and warping tendencies.

By 1928 Anni and Josef were teaching at the Bauhaus and moved into quarters beside Paul Klee and his wife and the Kandinsky‘s. In 1933, when the Bauhaus closed it’s doors, due to World War II, Josef and Anni Albers emigrated to the US where Josef became a well known abstract artist, teacher and writer and Anni developed her extraordinary textiles and continued to teach and write about design in an inspiring and passionate way. They travelled extensively in Mexico which became a wonderful source of inspiration to them. In later life Anni fell in love with print making and dedicated her remaining years to working in this medium (see examples below). Of course these works are my favourite, pretty cool to know she was still busy designing into her 70’s!

Check out Anni Albers fantastic book about weaving published in 1965. You can also visit the Albers Foundation website for further reading about both the artists.



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