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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


In 1965, The Jewish Museum commissioned textile artist Anni Albers to create a piece in memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The resulting work, called Six Prayers, is composed of six vertical tapestries woven in beige, black, white, and silver and mounted side-by-side. Despite the limited palette, each tapestry varies subtly in color. Threads of black and white meander across the grid of each panel, suggesting perhaps the infinity of potential life paths, the scribbled letters of some unknown language, or the randomness and complexity of human experience.

Albers believed in the capacity of non-objective art to reach beyond the communicative capacities of the representational. Her “six prayers” cannot be contained within the realm of human expression. They are ineffable, almost unimaginable, yet universally understood.