In 1971, Josef Albers established a not-for-profit organization to further “the revelation and evocation of vision through art.”
Today, this organization — The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation — is devoted to preserving and promoting the achievements of both Josef and Anni Albers, and the aesthetic and philosophical principles by which they lived.
Nicholas Fox Weber has been running the Foundation since Josef’s death in 1976, initially in close collaboration with Josef’s wife Anni, and, from 1979, with the title of “Executive Director”.
Weber considers the Foundation to be an opportunity to maintain the artistic standards and remarkable personal values he had the good luck to experience directly in his friendship with both of the Alberses. In 1999, with the support of his fellow trustees of the Foundation, he organized the construction of its headquarters in Bethany, Connecticut, next to the house where he and Katharine have lived since 1977, and where they have raised their daughters.
It was possible to acquire this beautiful woodland acreage and construct an ideal building thanks to funds received by Anni Albers for the restitution of family property in the former East Berlin; Weber and Anni’s brother, Hans Farman, went to Berlin together to finalize this arrangement. The Bethany campus includes a central research and storage center to accommodate the Foundation’s art collections, library and archives, and offices, as well as residence studios for visiting artists. Weber and two close friends, the architect Nick Ohly and the sculptor Natalie Charkow, selected the architects, Tim Prentice and his partner Lo-Yi Chan, and worked closely with them to make the Foundation an oasis in the art world of today, a place of immense visual beauty and seriousness. Tim Prentice, who studied with Josef and is a sculptor as well as an architect, considered the project in part an expression of thanks to one of his mentors, and achieved remarkable results.
The Foundation has become a pilgrimage point, and is so respected today that Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate in London, has called it “the cream of artist’s foundations: the standard bearer.” The Albers Foundation serves as a unique center for the understanding and appreciation of the arts and of all visual experience—with the combined legacies of Josef and Anni Albers at its heart. It carries out its mission by working on exhibitions and publications—primarily focused on the art of Josef and Anni Albers—assisting with research, and sponsoring scholarships. It conserves the Alberses’ art and archives, and is open by appointment.
Nicholas Fox Weber and the Foundation are inseparable. While the Foundation trustees have always supported and encouraged his wish to write about other artists and to branch out, he considers his role in perpetuating the legacy of his two wonderful friends—individuals with a supreme dedication to the visual art and to making the world a better place—to be one of the greatest privileges of his life.