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Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas

Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye
With an essay by Michael D. Coe
2018 Third Place, Exhibition Catalogues, New England Museum Association Publication Awards

Pioneers of modern art and design, Anni and Josef Albers are renowned for their wide-ranging creative practice—spanning painting, printmaking, weaving, and more—as well as their innovative teaching methods, which Josef demonstrated as a professor at Yale. While many publications have studied the Alberses’ visual strategies, this book offers a new perspective, examining the couple as collectors of art from the ancient Americas. The Alberses traveled together through Latin America, namely Mexico and Peru, more than a dozen times between the 1930s and 1960s, amassing a collection of over 1,400 objects. These works, however, have received little attention in recent publications. Filling a major gap in scholarship, this book draws on previously unpublished archival material to debunk the myth that acquiring ancient American objects was a low-budget hobby that the Alberses pursued during their travels abroad. Small-Great Objects: Anni and Josef Albers in the Americas shows the incredible breadth, depth, and significance of the Alberses’ collection, and unearths fascinating resonances between their collecting and art-making practices.

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96 pages / 9 x 11 inches / 56 color and 18 black-and-white illustrations / Distributed by Yale University Press / 2017
  • Paperback with flaps 978-0-300-22569-3
    Price $25; Members $20