Finding Aid of the Black Mountain College Project Collection, PC.7008


Finding Aid of the Black Mountain College Project Collection, PC.7008


The Black Mountain College Project (BMC Project) was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York in 1999 by Mary Emma Harris, Black Mountain College scholar and author of The Arts at Black Mountain College (The MIT Press, 1987). The mission of the project is the preservation and interpretation of the history and influence of Black Mountain College through preservation of primary documents, interviews with former faculty and students, and dissemination of information via multiple platforms including presentations, articles, and online resources. The donation of the BMC Project Collection to the Western Regional Archives represents a major step in the accomplishment of its goals.

The collection contains documents, journals, correspondence, memoirs, photographs and negatives and other materials.

Descriptive Summary

Black Mountain College Project Collection
Call Number
Mary Emma Harris
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Series Quick Links

  1. Collection Contents

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Accession Records, Boxes 23 - 25 are restricted.

Use Restrictions

Collection Overview

The BMC Project papers are extensive and varied. The hundreds of photographs and negatives by Felix Krowinski provide candid photographs of classes, student life, the work program and other activities during the post-war years. The negatives and snapshots of Masato Nakagawa in the summer of 1949 document the dome created by Buckminster Fuller that summer at the college. Other photographs record summer sessions and general college life. There are a large number of college publications including drama and concert programs as well as bulletins and flyers. The collection includes graduation theses in music by James Boardman Jamieson and John Stix, both written under the supervision of conductor Heinrich Jalowetz. Letters to family and friends from Margaret Williamson Peterson, Elaine Schmitt Urbain, Ati Gropius Johansen and Marcia Chamberlain, among others, capture daily life at the college and reveal the youthful concerns of the students. Documents and memorandums record college philosophy and ideals as well as conflicts and operational concerns.
The BMC Project has identified to the best of its ability events and individuals in photographs as well as documents.

The BMC Project Collection enhance the already extensive collections of Black Mountain College documents at the Western Regional Archives. These collections are a rich resource for scholars, educators and artists internationally who are interested the history, the accomplishments, and the educational ideas of Black Mountain College.

Arrangement Note

Female students are arranged alphabetically by the surname they were last at Black Mountain College under. The following is cross reference of maiden and married names included in the collection:
Apelman, Maja Tschernjakow. See Bentley.
Boyden, Cynthia. See Carr.
Currier, Gwendolyn. See Jamieson.
Edelman, Barcia. See Stepner.
French, Ruth. See Barton.
Heyns, Cornelia. See Goldsmith.
Hofberg, Clara. See Gershkow.
Holl, Mirande. See Geissbuhler.
Halper, Lorna. See Blaine.
Johansen, Ati. See Gropius.
Jungermann, Eva. See Schlein.
Katz, Nancy. See Brager.
LaBreque, Adele. See Suska.
Lee, Angelica. See Bodky.
Marden, Helen. See Wright.
Mayer, Joy. See Ballon.
Penney, Jacqueline. See Singer.
Peterson, Margaret. See Williamson.
Resnik, Elizabeth. See Gellhorn.
Schauffler, Verna. See Raattama.
Sobran, Jeanne. See Wacker.
Stillkind, Marie. See Tavroges.
Teeter, Marian. See Nacke.
Treichler, Martha. See Rittenhouse.
Urbain, Elaine. See Schmitt.
Williams, Alma. See Stone.
Wright, Nancy. See Smith.



Black Mountain College was founded in the fall of 1933 by a group of dissident faculty, among them John Andrew Rice and Theodore Dreier, from Rollins College. The school closed in 1957. Central to the college's philosophy was a democratic organization of the college which was owned and operated by the faculty; the role of experience in education; a holistic education - head, heart, and hand - through intellectual studies, community life, the arts and the crafts, and work on the college farm and campus maintenance. The arts were placed at the center of the curriculum. The college attracted those interested in an alternative educational experience and an arts-centered curriculum. A number of notable European refugees were hired to teach, among them Josef Albers, Anni Albers, and Xanti Schawinsky from the Bauhaus; in music, Heinrich Jalowetz and Stefan Wolpe; and in the sciences and math, Max Wilhelm Dehn and Natasha Goldowski, among others. The college became a magnet for young American students and teachers, including , Ruth Asawa, John Chamberlain, Howard Dearstyne, Mary Gregory, Lou Harrison, Ray Johnson, Karen Karnes, Kenneth Noland, Charles Olson, Robert Rauschenberg, M.C. Richards, Dorothea Rockburne, Kenneth Snelson and David Weinrib. Among the faculty for the special summer sessions in the arts were John Cage, Clement Greenberg, José de Creeft, Merce Cunningham, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Franz Kline, and Jack Tworkov. The college's influence has been pervasive in the fields of education, the arts, literature, as well as math and science.

Contents of the Collection

Collection Contents
Andrews - Asawa
Andrews-Asawa Stereoscopic photographs Newspaper article Photographs Negatives 12.2.1939 Negatives 5.2.1939 Negatives 3.14.1939 Negatives 5.5.1939 Negatives after 1940 Negatives Negatives Negatives 1939 Photo envelopes Publications Videos
Ballon - Blaine, Folder 3
Blaine Folders 4 - 23
Blaine Folders 24 - 41, 1947 - 2008
Bliss - Currier Folder 5, 1937 - 1997
Currier Folder 6 - Evarts Folder 13
Falk - Gropius Folder 5
Gropius Folder 6 - Harmon
BOX 10
Hendrickson - Krowinski Folder 2
BOX 11
Krowinski Folders 3 - 12
BOX 12
Krowinski Folders 13-17
BOX 13
LaFarge - Moore
BOX 14
Nacke-Resnick Folder 4
BOX 15
Resnick Folder 5 - Schauffler
BOX 16
Schindler - Snelson
BOX 17
Spayth - Stone
BOX 18
Sunley - Williamson Folder 3
BOX 19
Williamson Folders 4-8
BOX 20
Willimetz - Wright and BMC Project Miscellaneous
BOX 21
Oversized Materials
BOX 22
Accession Records Andrews - Goro
BOX 23
Accession Records Goulet - Parker
BOX 24
Accession Records Pollett - Wright