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Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection


Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C. Established in 1933 by John A. Rice and others, the purpose of the college was to educate the whole person, with an emphasis on the role of the arts and creative thinking. Despite the fact that Black Mountain College could rarely offer faculty more than room and board, a number of important teachers and artists were drawn to the school as part of the regular faculty or to participate in the school's Summer Institutes. The college closed in 1956.The Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection includes various materials that are related to Black Mountain College but are not part of the college records, the Bl ... (more below)

Title

Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection

Collection Number

PC.1580

Date(s)

1943 - 1945; 1975 - 2007

Language

English

Language

Japanese

Physical Description
Items
ca. 70
Physical Description
Items
103.00
Abstract

Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C. Established in 1933 by John A. Rice and others, the purpose of the college was to educate the whole person, with an emphasis on the role of the arts and creative thinking. Despite the fact that Black Mountain College could rarely offer faculty more than room and board, a number of important teachers and artists were drawn to the school as part of the regular faculty or to participate in the school's Summer Institutes. The college closed in 1956.

The Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection includes various materials that are related to Black Mountain College but are not part of the college records, the Black Mountain College Research Project, or other collections donated by individuals connected with Black Mountain. The collection includes general information about the college's origins and educational philosophy, copies of original college publications, photographs, memoirs, and printed materials dealing with either the college or with people associated with it.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Western Regional Archives.

Creator

Unknown

Repository

Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Ashley Yandle, February, 2002; an addition made in 2007 by George Stevenson; an addition made by Ashley Yandle, September, 2008.

Encoded by Ashley Yandle, June, 2002; additional encoding by Ashley Yandle, September, 2008.

This collection was processed in 2002 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C. Established in 1933 by John A. Rice and others, the purpose of the college was to educate the whole person, with an emphasis on the role of the arts and creative thinking. Despite the fact that Black Mountain College could rarely offer faculty more than room and board, a number of important teachers and artists were drawn to the school as part of the regular faculty or to participate in the school's Summer Institutes. Josef and Anni Albers, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Merce Cunningham, Max Dehn, Joseph Fiore, Buckminister Fuller, Edward Lowinsky, Robert Motherwell, Charles Olson, M.C. Richards, and Xanti Schawinsky were only a few of those who taught at Black Mountain College. In addition, the success of several of the college's students (such as Ruth Asawa, Edward Dorn, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg) helped to further the college's reputation in the area of the arts and the avant garde.

The character and focus of Black Mountain College shifted over time, according to the make-up of the faculty and students. Personal and ideological conflicts were common and sometimes lead to major changes in the college community. Lack of funds added to the stress of the situation, as did the school's physical isolation and its sometimes strained relations with the local population. Eventually, the student enrollment and available funds dwindled until the college was forced to close in 1956.


Black Mountain College was an experimental school located in Black Mountain, N.C. Established in 1933 by John A. Rice and others, the purpose of the college was to educate the whole person, with an emphasis on the role of the arts and creative thinking. Despite the fact that Black Mountain College could rarely offer faculty more than room and board, a number of important teachers and artists were drawn to the school as part of the regular faculty or to participate in the school's Summer Institutes. Josef and Anni Albers, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Merce Cunningham, Max Dehn, Joseph Fiore, Buckminister Fuller, Edward Lowinsky, Robert Motherwell, Charles Olson, M.C. Richards, and Xanti Schawinsky were only a few of those who taught at Black Mountain College. In addition, the success of several of the college's students (such as Ruth Asawa, Edward Dorn, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg) helped to further the college's reputation in the area of the arts and the avant garde.

The character and focus of Black Mountain College shifted over time, according to the make-up of the faculty and students. Personal and ideological conflicts were common and sometimes lead to major changes in the college community. Lack of funds added to the stress of the situation, as did the school's physical isolation and its sometimes strained relations with the local population. Eventually, the student enrollment and available funds dwindled until the college was forced to close in 1956.


[Identification of item], PC.1580, Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, NC, USA.


Eulogy and newspaper articles re. Erwin Straus received from Miss Mary Emma Harris, July 1975 and accessioned July 15, 1975. Eight bulletins and music programs were a gift of Mrs. Margaret Balzar Cantieni, Bethlehem, Pa.; presented via Mary Emma Harris, New York; accessioned July 19, 1976. The multiple copies of two posters were a gift of Mrs. Patricia H. Pitt, Black Mountain College Project, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, 1978. Sixteen black and white glossy prints and one postcard were a gift of Mr. George Pickering, Camp Rockmont, Black Mountain, NC; donated April 12, 1978. One volume by Leverett T. Smith was a gift of the Leverett T. Smith, Jr., NC Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount; accessioned June 26, 1979. One typescript article was a gift of Patricia Hewitt Fitt, Goddard College, Plainsfield, Vermont; accessioned June 26, 1979. One book about Willem de Kooning was a gift of Dominique Bozo, Director, Centre George Pompidou, Musee national d'art modern, Paris; accessioned January 31, 1985. One pamphlet was a gift of F. A. Foster, Montreat; accessioned December 12, 1985. Three postage stamps were a gift of Mrs. Barbara T. Cain, Raleigh; accessioned February 10, 1981. Some materials relating to the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center were purchased in 1995; other materials were a gift of the museum, 1999. Two printed items were a gift of Dr. Irwin Kremen, Duke University, 1998. A photocopy of the Alma Stone Williams memoir was a gift of Alma Stone Williams, Savannah, Ga., 2002. The publication  Studiovoice was a gift, ca. 2003. Two exhibition announcements were gifts of Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England, 2005. Two announcements and one catalog were gifts of the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, 2007. During March-April, 2012, these records were moved from the State Archives building in Raleigh to the Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us.


This collection is designed to include various miscellaneous materials that are related to Black Mountain College but are not part of the college records, the Black Mountain College Research Project, or other collections donated by individuals connected with Black Mountain.

The collection includes general information about the college's origins and educational philosophy, copies of original college publications, exhibition materials, articles, and photographs. Among these materials are items relating to the activities of Willem de Kooning, Charles Olson, Kenneth Noland, M.C. Richards, Dr. Erwin Walter Straus, and Jonathan Williams. Also included in the collection are the masters paper  Black Mountain College Retrospective: An Exploration in Arts Administration by Patricia Hewitt Fitt (1978); a memoir by Leo Krikorian, a former BMC student, concerning the Beats; and a memoir by Alma Stone Williams concerning the Summer Music Institute of 1944 at Black Mountain College, which includes descriptions of race relations, music classes and relations between various members of the college community. Another folder contains information about the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center including exhibition documentation, web site printouts, and publications about Joseph Fiore.

An oversized folder located separately from the rest of the collection contains two versions of posters for the  "Black Mountain College Retrospective and Seminar" which ran in Asheville from March 20 - May 8, 1978.


This collection is designed to include various miscellaneous materials that are related to Black Mountain College but are not part of the college records, the Black Mountain College Research Project, or other collections donated by individuals connected with Black Mountain.

The collection includes general information about the college's origins and educational philosophy, copies of original college publications, exhibition materials, articles, and photographs. Among these materials are items relating to the activities of Willem de Kooning, Charles Olson, Kenneth Noland, M.C. Richards, Dr. Erwin Walter Straus, and Jonathan Williams. Also included in the collection are the masters paper  Black Mountain College Retrospective: An Exploration in Arts Administration by Patricia Hewitt Fitt (1978); a memoir by Leo Krikorian, a former BMC student, concerning the Beats; and a memoir by Alma Stone Williams concerning the Summer Music Institute of 1944 at Black Mountain College, which includes descriptions of race relations, music classes and relations between various members of the college community. Another folder contains information about the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center including exhibition documentation, web site printouts, and publications about Joseph Fiore.

An oversized folder located separately from the rest of the collection contains two versions of posters for the  "Black Mountain College Retrospective and Seminar" which ran in Asheville from March 20 - May 8, 1978.


  • Cage, John
  • De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997.
  • Fiore, Joseph Albert.
  • Fitt, Patricia Hewitt.
  • Krikorian, Leo, 1922-
  • Noland, Kenneth, 1924-
  • Olson, Charles, 1910-1970.
  • Richards, Mary Caroline.
  • Straus, Erwin W. (Erwin Walter), 1891-1975
  • Williams, Alma Stone.
  • Williams, Jonathan, 1929-2008
  • Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
  • Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.
  • African American students--North Carolina--Social conditions.
  • Art--Exhibitions.
  • Beat generation.
  • Music--Instruction and study.
  • Pottery
  • Universities and colleges--North Carolina--History.
  • Black Mountain (N.C.)

Physical Description
Items
3.00

Box: PC.1580.1  
Pamphlet,Black Mountain College by F. A. Foster
1984

Scope and Content

Provides a short overview of the college's origins and educational philosophy

23064
Postage stamps featuringGlow by Josef Albers, n.d.

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
3 items

23065
Article on Black Mountain College published in the Japanese language magazineStudiovoice
April 2003

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
2 pages

Contains publications by or about the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.

23066
Articles of incorporation for the museum (1993) as amended to change the title of the organization
1994

23067
Newsletter,January Update
1995

Scope and Content

Two folders (3 copies of one) concerning the Black Mountain College reunion at Camp Rockmont.

23068
Publicity card and handlist of exhibitors in the exhibitionRemembering Black Mountain College, Oct. 14 - Dec. 16, 1995 at the Asheville Art Museum

23069
Publicity card for a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of Joseph FioreBlack Mountain and Beyond, at Zone One Contemporary Gallery, Asheville
1995

23070
Pamphlet,Black Mountain College Dossiers, no. 1, ,Joseph Fiore
1995

23071
Draft,Vision Statement
May 19, 1999

23072
List, Board of Directors
July 21, 1999

23073
Brochure,Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center

23074
Print-outs from the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center website, printed out
July 28, 1999

Scope and Content

Includes  "About the Museum";  "Recent News";  "Museum Activities";  "Museum Publications"; and  "Gallery".

23075
Announcement of and catalog for exhibition entitledBreaking New Ground: The Studio Potter and Black Mountain College held at the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, Asheville, from
September 21, 2007 - January 18, 2008

23076
Announcement of lecture entitledAn Uneasy Relationship: The Leach School, Black Mountain, and Traditional North Carolina Pottery presented by Mark Hewitt at the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, Asheville, on
October 3, 2007

Includes the masters paper  Black Mountain College Retrospective: An Exploration in Arts Administration by Patricia Hewitt Fitt, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Maters of Arts, Goddard College (July 15, 1978). The paper was the culmination of the  "Black Mountain College Retrospective and Seminar" which ran from March 20 - May 8, 1978 and was hosted by Warren Wilson College, The Asheville Art Museum and The Arts Journal. The retrospective featured lectures, discussions, poetry readings, exhibits, films, workshops, special publications, and a walking tour. Several former BMC students, faculty and experts took part including M. C. Richards, Mary Emma Harris, Whitney Jones, Harold Taylor, Jonathan Williams, Robert Creeley, and Paul Hoffman. The paper itself includes essays describing the history of the college and Fitt's reactions to that history. It also reprints excerpts from documents such as articles, personal reminiscences, poetry, college publications, etc. Xeroxed photographs featured in the paper are from the Black Mountain College Records.

Physical Description
Items
5.00

Includes materials printed by or for the college.

23077
Catalog,Black Mountain College Bulletin, vol. II, no. 3
December 1943

23078
Concert programs
Summer, 1945

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
5 items

23079
Community Bulletins
July, 1945

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
2 copies

Physical Description
Items
2.00

23080
Catalog for the exhibitionArt and Education at Black Mountain College, 1933-1956 at The Rocky Mount Arts and Crafts Center, , with text provided by Leverett T. Smith, Jr.
1978

23081
Pamphlet and magazine article about an exhibition curated by Mary Emma Harris calledThe Arts at Black Mountain College, 1933-1957 at Bard College
1987

23082
Newspaper article and flyer dealing with the Gilliam & Peden exhibitionThe Black Mountain Connection
1987

23083
Announcements of exhibitions entitledStarting at Zero: Black Mountain College, 1933-57 andPlaying John Cage at Arnolfini Gallery (Bristol, England) from
November 5, 2005 - January 15, 2006

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
2 items

Information about people associated with Black Mountain College including Kenneth Noland, M. C. Richards, Dr. Erwin Walter Straus and Jonathan Williams.

Physical Description
17 items

Sixteen black and white photographs of Charles Olson and his family taken at Black Mountain College. Also includes a postcard of Ma Peak's Tavern.

Memoir (n.d.) by Leo Krikorian, painter, former Black Mountain College student. The memoir primarily concerns the Beats in San Francisco, 1953-1960, and one of their hangouts  "The Place" which was owned by Krikorian. Krikorian and other former Black Mountain College community members were considered part of the Beats, and the memoir includes references to Knute Stiles, Ilya Bolotowsky, Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley.

Physical Description
Photocopy of a typescript with 1 title page, 1 unnumbered page, and 23 pages of text

Memoir (1995) by Alma Stone Williams, an African American student at Black Mountain College during the Summer Music Institute of 1944. The memoir includes: accounts of the Quiet House, North Lodge, and Studies Building; the creation of the murals  "Inspiration" and  "Knowledge" by Jean Charlot; experiences with fellow institute students; relations between students and teachers; World War II and BMC; tea time at BMC; Lotte Leonard's  "Musicianship for Singers" class; piano practice with Joanna Graudan and the teacher's impact on her; the classes of Edward Lowinsky; chamber music classes; Rudolf Kolisch and Nikolai Graudan; Josef Albers; the art of Josef Breitenbach; the lectures of Bernard Rudofsky; concerts at BMC, including a concert of music by Franz Schubert; Heinrich Jalowetz; the controversy concerning Eric Bentley, Jeanne Wacker and Barbara Anderson (Dupee) and the resulting disagreements in the college community; and race relations at BMC as compared to the rest of the South in 1944.

Box: PC.1580.2  
Willem de Kooning. Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou
1984

Physical Description
6 items

Six posters for the  "Black Mountain College Retrospective and Seminar" (March 20 - May 8, 1978), located with the oversized materials at the beginning of the Private Manuscript Collections.

Folder: PC.1580 - Oversized  
Poster featuring a black and white sketch of the Studies Building, the dates of the events, and Warren Wilson College as their sponsor.

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
2 copies

23086
Red poster featuringIle De France by Robert Motherwell

Descriptive Information
Physical Description
4 copies

Scope and Content

Posters advertise events held at the Asheville Art Museum as part of the retrospective and seminar.