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Toasting Josef Albers, Influential Artist and Color Theorist, On His 127th Birthday

Happy birthday to pioneering artist and Bauhaus school professor Josef Albers! The influential German-born abstract painter and designer was fascinated by the interplay between colors, and experimented with hues in many mediums, from stained glass and typography to furniture design and public sculptures. For his 127th birthday, here's a look back at some of his groundbreaking, and very colorful, works.

In 1933, Albers and others decided to shutter the Bauhaus school rather than follow the regulations set out by the Nazis. Josef and his artist wife Anni moved to the U.S. that same year, where they joined the visual arts faculty at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

By 1950, the Alberses moved to Yale so that Josef could become the chairman of Yale's Department of Design, where he influenced countless young designers with his radical ideas about color. He never did get used to American friendliness, though. When told to "have a nice day" by a postmistress at the university, Josef reportedly replied: "I am afraid I heff already made other arrangements."

Here are some of his architectural commissions:

Photos of Albers' architectural commissions courtesy of the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation

· Oral history interview with Josef Albers, 1968 June 22-July 5 [Archives of American Art]
· All Birthdays posts [Curbed National]