Anni Albers: On Weaving

New Expanded Edition

By Anni Albers. Contributions by Manuel Cirauqui and T'ai Smith. Afterword by Nicholas Fox Weber

The classic book on the art and history of weaving—now expanded and in full color.

Written by one of the twentieth century’s leading textile artists, this splendidly illustrated book is a luminous meditation on the art of weaving, its history, its tools and techniques, and its implications for modern design. First published in 1965, On Weaving bridges the transition between handcraft and the machine-made, highlighting the essential importance of material awareness and the creative leaps that can occur when design problems are tackled by hand.

With her focus on materials and handlooms, Anni Albers discusses how technology and mass production place limits on creativity and problem solving, and makes the case for a renewed embrace of human ingenuity that is particularly important today. Her lucid and engaging prose is illustrated with a wealth of rare and extraordinary images showing the history of the medium, from hand-drawn diagrams and close-ups of pre-Columbian textiles to material studies with corn, paper, and the typewriter, as well as illuminating examples of her own work.

Now available for a new generation of readers, this expanded edition of On Weaving updates the book’s original black-and-white illustrations with full-color photos, and features an afterword by Nicholas Fox Weber and essays by Manuel Cirauqui and T’ai Smith that shed critical light on Albers and her career.


Publisher: Princeton University Press

Artists: Anni Albers

Contributors: Nicholas Fox Weber, Manuel Cirauqui, T’ai Smith

Designer: Yve Ludwig

Publication Date: 2017

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 11 in | 21.6 x 27.9 cm

Pages: 272

Reproductions: 105 color, 28 b&w

ISBN: 9780691177854

Retail: $49.95 | £41.95

Status: Available

Anni Albers

Anni Albers (1899–1994) was a textile artist, designer, printmaker, and educator known for her pioneering graphic wall hangings, weavings, and designs. She was born in Berlin, and studied painting under German Impressionist Martin Brandenburg from 1916 to 1919. After attending the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg for two months in 1920, she enrolled at the Bauhaus in 1922 and joined the faculty in 1929. At Black Mountain College from 1933 to 1949 she elaborated on the technical innovations she devised at the Bauhaus, developing a specialized curriculum that integrated weaving and industrial design. In 1949 she became the first designer to have a one-person show at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the exhibition Anni Albers: Textiles subsequently traveled to 26 venues throughout the United States and Canada. Her seminal book On Weaving, published in 1965, helped to establish design studies as an area of academic and aesthetic inquiry and solidified her status as the single most influential textile artist of the twentieth century.

All Anni Albers books

Nicholas Fox Weber

Nicholas Fox Weber is a cultural historian and has been the executive director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation for the past four decades. During this time he has worked tirelessly to preserve the lasting achievements and legacies of the Alberses. He has written extensively on each artist, recently completing an unprecedented visual biography of these icons of twentieth-century art. Other books of his include artists such as Le Corbusier and Balthus. He is currently in the process of writing a groundbreaking new biography of the artist Piet Mondrian. He also spearheads Le Korsa, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2005 to assist with medical care and education in Senegal.

Manuel Cirauqui

Manuel Cirauqui is curator at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

T’ai Smith

T’ai Smith is an associate professor of art history at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (2014), she has lectured internationally on textile media and design in modern art and philosophy.