Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
A glass sculpture of gray and white glass rectangles on black glass.

The sculpture has a black background. Black, gray, and white vertical rectangles which get progressively shorter from left to right overlap one another. The layers are gray, black, white, gray, white, black, gray, and white. A length of short horizontal black bars overlap and connect the white rectangles on the right. A line of longer horizontal black bars are set slightly off-center and above the shorter bars on the left side.

Gallery Text

Albers made his first important glass work in 1918, when he created a stained-glass window for a church in his hometown. As a student and later technical master of the Bauhaus’s stained-glass workshop, he designed large-scale windows and compositions using discarded glass. In the mid-1920s he developed a technique, used here, of sandblasting abstract designs through a stencil onto panels of layered opaque glass, which were meant to be hung on the wall like paintings. Albers’s exploration of the artistic possibilities of glass parallels the rigorous “material studies” that were central to the preliminary course he led at the Bauhaus. He took great satisfaction in the precise, machine-produced quality of his glass pictures, and the fact that, with proper instructions, they could be reproduced by any skilled technician.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Josef Albers, American (Bottrop, Germany 1888 - 1976 New Haven, Conn.)
Work Type
c. 1927
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1520, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art in Germany Between the Wars
View this object's location on our interactive map

Physical Descriptions

Opaque black glass flashed on milk glass
58.4 x 27.9 cm (23 x 11 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[Egan Gallery, New York], sold; to Busch-Reisinger Museum 1949.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Kuno Francke Memorial and Association Funds
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Publication History

  • Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 17, repr.
  • Josef Albers: Glass, Color, and Light, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, 1994), Cat. no. 23, ill.
  • Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 114
  • David Bindman, Suzanne Blier, and Vera Grant, ed., Art of Jazz: Form, Performance, Notes, exh. cat., Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 50, ill. (b/w)
  • Laura Muir, Object Lessons: The Bauhaus and Harvard, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, 2021), pp. 257, 278, plate 22, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

  • From Werkbund to Bauhaus: Art and Design in Germany 1900-1934, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1980 - 04/26/1980
  • 19th- and 20th-Century Paintings and Sculpture from the Museum's Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/11/1980 - 08/31/1980
  • 19th- and 20th-Century Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 02/08/1982
  • Art of the Weimar Era, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 04/05/1982 - 05/22/1982
  • Bauhaus Art and Design, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/07/1982 - 10/30/1982
  • 32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 08/03/2017; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/05/2019 - 01/01/2050
  • The Bauhaus and Harvard, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/08/2019 - 07/28/2019

Subjects and Contexts

  • The Bauhaus

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at