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Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection


Sylvia Girsh (subsequently Mrs. Cliff Ashby) was a student at Black Mountain College during the late 1940s. 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.The Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection is a small collection of memorabilia relating to Black Mountain College during the years 1946-1948 including photographs, college publications, and an obituary.

Title

Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection

Collection Number

PC.1784

Date(s)

1946 - 1950

Language

English

Physical Description
Items
16
Genre/Physical Characteristic

(2 of which are duplicates); Xerox copies, printed matter, photographs.

Physical Description
Items
16.00
Abstract

Sylvia Girsh (subsequently Mrs. Cliff Ashby) was a student at Black Mountain College during the late 1940s. 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.

The Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection is a small collection of memorabilia relating to Black Mountain College during the years 1946-1948 including photographs, college publications, and an obituary.

Physical Location

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

Physical Location

WRA: 5A01

Creator

Ashby, Sylvia Girsh

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 George Stevenson, March, 1991

Encoded by Ashley Yandle, May, 2002; additional encoding, May, 2010


Sylvia Girsh (subsequently Mrs. Cliff Ashby) was a student at Black Mountain College during the academic years 1946/47 and 1947/1948.

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.


Sylvia Girsh Ashby, Lubbock, Texas, 6 March 1991.


[Identification of item], PC.1784, Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, NC, USA.


Gift, Sylvia Girsh Ashby, Lubbock, Texas, 6 March 1991. 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://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov.

  1.  List of Black Mountain College collections at the Western Regional Archives.
  2.  Black Mountain College Records, 1933-1956, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C. (These records have been described in the online Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS). See link above.)
  3.  Martin Duberman Collection, 1933-1980, PC 1678, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.
  4.  North Carolina Museum of Art, Black Mountain College Research Project, 1933-1973, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.

A small collection of memorabilia relating to Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, North Carolina) during the years 1946-1948. Sylvia Girsh (subsequently Mrs. Cliff Ashby) was a student at Black Mountain during those years.

Included are a photograph of Sylvia Girsh at Black Mountain during the academic years 1946/47 and 1947/1948; one xerographic copy of a review of Mrs. Ashby's stage adaptation of Anne of Green Gables; one photograph of Mr. and Mrs. John Wallen (Mr. Wallen having been on the faculty at Black Mountain during Mrs. Ashby's stay there as a student); four photographs of Kurt Wallen; one information booklet concerning Black Mountain College (ca. 1950); five gravure prints of three publicity photographs of Black Mountain College and its grounds about 1946/1947; one copy of the brochure announcing the exhibition of "The Arts at Black Mountain College, 1933-1957" at Edith C. Blum Art Institute; a small pamphlet printing of "Seven Poems by Jesse Green," 1950 (a student at Black Mountain in 1946/1947 and 1947/1948); and a copy of the obituary of Martha Hult Leiken, a former student at Black Mountain.

See online finding aid on the N.C. State Archives website.


  • Ashby, Sylvia Girsh
  • Green, Jesse Dawes
  • Keiken, Martha Hult
  • Wallen, John
  • Wallen, Kurt
  • Wallen, John
  • Wallen, Kurt
  • Keiken, Martha Hult
  • Green, Jesse Dawes
  • Ashby, Sylvia Girsh
  • Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
  • Poetry
  • Universities and colleges--North Carolina--History
  • Universities and colleges
  • Black Mountain