Josef Albers, printmaker, painter, and designer, was born in Westphalia, Germany, on March 19, 1888. His formal art training included the Weimar Bauhaus, where he became a professor in 1925. When the Bauhaus closed under Nazi pressure in 1933, he immigrated to the United States and joined the faculty of Black Mountain College, North Carolina. There, he ran the painting program until 1949. His students included Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Ray Johnson, and Susan Weil.
In 1950 he left Black Mountain College for Yale University to head the Department of Design. He taught there until his retirement in 1958. He continued to work, however, collaborating with architect King-Lui Wi, writing poetry and the book Interaction of Color (1963), working on structural constellation pieces, and designing abstract album covers for Enoch Light’s Command LPs, among other projects. With his wife, textile artist Anni Albers, he would found the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, a not-for-profit organization to “further the revelation and evocation of vision through art”. He would continue to work in New Haven until his death there on March 26, 1976.