The daughter of a furniture manufacturer, Anni Albers (née Fleischmann) was born in Berlin. After studying art with a private tutor, and then with impressionist painter Martin Brandenburg, she continued her training at the School of Applied Art in Hamburg and the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau. At the Weimar Bauhaus she met abstract artist Josef Albers, whom she married in 1925. She was a part-time instructor and acting director of the Bauhaus weaving workshop from 1930 to 1933. The couple left Nazi Germany and accepted teaching positions at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, where Anni Albers was an assistant professor of art from 1933 to 1949.
Albers was the first weaver to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1949, and the second recipient of the American Craft Council's Fold Medal for "uncompromising excellence" in 1980.
Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)