Cover

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Frontmatter

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

This book began as a doctoral dissertation, a project “discovered” one day serendipitously, in a university library, when I came across Anni Albers’s book On Designing while doing research about her husband. I recall vividly the powerful effect her essays had on my thinking...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxxiv

Anni Albers published her second book, On Weaving, in 1965. A well-respected German American weaver who taught from 1933 until 1949 at Black Mountain College and had developed popular fabric designs for Knoll, she was also a prolific writer. Like her former volume...

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1. Pictures Made of Wool

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pp. 1-40

Before the Bauhaus weavers wrote, before weaving had a theoretical armature to secure its status as a medium-specific craft, weaving was what Gunta Stölzl would later call “a picture made of wool.” A tapestry from 1921–22 by weaving...

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2. Toward a Modernist Theory of Weaving

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pp. 41-78

Without a theoretical armature—a group of texts specifying weaving’s dimensions and goals—the workshop’s production of tapestries and carpets remained, for the first few years of the Bauhaus, a medium without ends. This state of practice without theory changed dramatically...

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3. The Haptics of Optics

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pp. 79-110

There remains an aspect of weaving to which I have alluded in previous chapters but never properly addressed: fabric’s tactility. The Bauhaus weaving workshop explored the possibilities of color and formal composition through the interlacing of threads, tacitly placing it...

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4. Weaving as Invention

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pp. 111-140

There are more than one thousand samples of the Bauhaus weaver Otti Berger’s textiles in the Busch-Reisinger archive at Harvard University, many of which are variations on the same basic design, including a sample book from a series of textiles based on her patent...

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Conclusion

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pp. 141-174

The Bauhaus in Berlin closed in 1933 and that year, with the political situation growing increasingly difficult for Jewish citizens and artists in Germany, Anni and Josef Albers left for new faculty positions at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. When the couple traveled by ship...

Notes

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pp. 175-220

Index

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pp. 221-238