A short-lived college in the mountains, profound in influence, continues to inspire
Black Mountain College (1933 – 1957) was an entirely unique educational experiment based on interdisciplinary learning and practice with arts at the center. While the school only remained open for 24 years, its influence on American arts and crafts has been profound.
The school’s curriculum was based on the writings of educator/philosopher John Dewey; its residents included painters Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jacob Lawrence; performers Merce Cunningham and John Cage; inventor and architect, Buckminster Fuller; and potter, M.C. Richards; along with colorist Joseph Albers and his wife Anni, who taught textiles.
Like the other schools that taught crafts to mountain people, members of the Black Mountain College community participated in its operation, including farm work, construction projects and kitchen duty.
The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center was founded in 1993 to preserve the phenomenal legacy of the college. The museum offers both historic and contemporary exhibitions (recently: Between Form and Content: Perspectives on Jacob Lawrence and Black Mountain College), dynamic events, and research opportunities.
For a run-down of current and upcoming exhibits and meetings, link into www.blackmountaincollege.org.