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Six Prayers

Anni Albers (American, b. Germany, 1899-1994)

Six Prayers, 1965-66

  • Cotton, linen, bast and silver thread
  • 73 1/4 x 117 in. (186.1 x 297.2 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the Albert A. List Family, JM 149-72.1-6
  • © 2003 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

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Six Prayers

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Six Prayers

Anni Albers was born Annelise Fleischmann in Berlin, Germany, on June 12, 1899. She was raised in an affluent Jewish home but as an adult decided to forgo a comfortable life for a rugged artist’s existence. In 1922, she moved to the city of Weimar to study at the Bauhaus. Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus was a school of design and architecture that sought to unify fine arts, applied arts, and technology.

At the Bauhaus, Albers studied textile arts, developing her own style of “pictorial weavings.” These wall hangings and other textiles go beyond traditional decorative and utilitarian forms, equaling the aesthetics of many modernist paintings of the period. They stand on their own as works of abstract art.

While at the Bauhaus, Albers met her future husband, fellow artist Josef Albers. The two married in 1925 and in 1933, following the school’s forced closing by Nazi authorities, immigrated to the United States. Anni Albers continued to create her extraordinary textiles, while also teaching and writing on the topic of design, until her death in 1994.