Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
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
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Physical Descriptions
Opaque black glass flashed on milk glass
58.4 x 27.9 cm (23 x 11 in.)
[Egan Gallery, New York].
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
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Publication History

Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 17, repr.

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)

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

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