Anni Albers was born Anneliese Fleischmann in Berlin in 1899, into a Jewish family that had converted to Protestantism. A nonconformist in spirit, she rebelled against her affluent background to start her career at the prestigious and avant-garde Bauhaus school in Weimar, where she would go on to run the textile workshop from 1931 and where she met her husband, the painter, designer and photographer Josef Albers. After the closure of the school by the new Nazi regime in 1933, they moved to the United States, where they both taught at Black Mountain College until 1949. Anni Albers is considered a key author in redefining the figure of the designer as artist. She advanced the idea that art was democratising and that the separation between art and design had to be eliminated. She attached great importance to materials and technique, innovating the treatment of weaving, for which she sought inspiration in both modern industry and ancestral cultures (with her husband she made many trips to Mexico, Cuba and Peru). In the 1940s, while her fabrics were displayed all over the United States, Anni Albers published numerous articles on the subject of textiles and design. In 1949, she became the first designer to receive an exhibition at MoMA, New York. In 1965, she published On Weaving, a seminal essay that was republished as a book in 2003. She died in Orange, Connecticut, in 1994.

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