Last Updated: Apr 30, 2017     Views: 78

Thank you for the question! According to the text "Josef Albers: A Retrospective" by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: By the late 1950's Josef Albers art in architecture efforts had become known amongst architects partly because of the association with artists/architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer and partly because of works such as the "White Cross Window": at Abbots Chapel, St Johns Abbey Collegeville Minnesota--publications in architectural journals on his works were so plentiful that by 1958 Albers was offered and accepted a number of commissions.

The Mural in the lobby of the former Corning Glass Building on Fifth Ave New York, NY was one of the commissions Josef Albers accepted in 1959, the mural titled "Two Structural Constellations." 

Yes, from what I take from the reading, the Black Carrera Glass ceiling was purposely part of the "Two Structural Constellations" Mural intended to interact. " The Mural was conceived by plotting and then linking points on small sheets of graph paper and then linking them. By maintaining the same coordinated but altering lines to join them, the artist could achieve endless variation on a signal compositional theme (Guggenhiem, 70,71)" 

The interior of the Fifth avenue Steuben shop for Corning Steuben Building  at 718 Fifth Avenue was designed in subdued tones of white and grey, with iridescent capiz shells covering the walls of the foyer and stairwell to the mezzanine designed by John M. Gates." The outside of the building had exterior walls of Pyrex building block designed by Geoffrey Platt and William Platt (Madigan 76-78)" The lobby contained the mural and the glass ceiling. 

I would recommend reading pages 70-71 from the text " Josef Albers: A Retrospective by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. You can borrow this text from the Rakow Research Library by way of inter-library loan, or the pages can be scanned and sent to you. I have attached all the compiled lists of resources for Josef Albers. I have also attached some lists of resources for you on Frederick Carder and Steuben glass of which the library has a great deal of information and also a large archive.


I think a good course of action for you would be to contact the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation as they have an archives which may have some more detail on the mural. Contact the Rakow Library Archivist if you have additional questions about where to locate information in the Archives about the interior glass design of Corning Building Fifth Ave NY. There is a long list of sources with additional information on Albers on the page for researchers for the foundation also which may be of use to you.

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The American Museum of Art also has an archives for Josef Albers: (please copy and past below)

Works Cited!

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Josef Albers: a retrospective. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1988. 304 p.

      Text by Nicholas Fox Weber et al. Catalog of an exhibition held at Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1988. Bibliography: p. 297-301. Albers and glass: p. 21-25, 27-28, 65, 68-70, 102-107. Corning Glass Works Building mural: p. 70-71.

    Rakow Library Call Number: N6888.A3 G94

Frederick Carder and Steuben Glass : American classics / Thomas P. Dimitroff ; with essays by Charles R. Hajdamach and Jane Shadel Spillman ; contributions by Robert F. Rockwell III

Rakow Library call number: NK5198.C3 .D58