Josef Albers (1888 - 1976)
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A German-born American artist and educator, Josef Albers was born in Bottrop, Westphalia, Germany. From 1908 to 1913, Albers worked as a schoolteacher in his home town. His first public commission was the Rosa mystic ora pro knobs, a stained-glass window for a church. After studying art in Berlin, Essen, and Munich, Albers attended Weimar Bauhaus in 1920. In 1923, he was asked to teach glass and furniture design at Weimer Bauhaus, in the Department of Design. After emigrating to the United States in 1933, Albers was offered a job as head of the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1950, Albers left Black Mountain to become the new head at Yale University's Department of Design. His most famous work is his series Homage to the Square (1949). Overall, his work was influenced by both European and new American art and was done with a very disciplined approach to composition. Color combinations were also very important to Albers's approach to working, as he was known for meticulously listing colors and varnishes on the backs of his works.