Feature Articles

June Issue 2002

Arts Center in Hendersonville, NC, Features Exhibition Celebrating Black Mountain College

The Arts Center of Henderson County in Hendersonville, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Black Mountain Museum College Collection, which will be on view through July 27, 2002.

Black Mountain College opened in 1933 and closed in 1957 with less than 1200 students passing through its doors, yet the "grand experiment in education" has exerted an influence on every area of the arts in America, according to art historians.

Among the college's first professors were Josef and Anni Albers of the Bauhaus who were fleeing Nazi Germany. By the forties, Black Mountain's faculty included some of the greatest artists and thinkers of its time: Walter Gropius, Jacob Lawrence, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, John Cage, Alfred Kazin, Merce Cunningham and Paul Goodman. Students worked on a wide range of cutting edge projects such as Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic dome, Charles Olson's Projective Verse and some of the first performance art in the United States. The Board of Directors included William Carlos Williams and Albert Einstein.

Black Mountain College aimed to educate the whole person through interdisciplinary studies combined with communal living where each student worked on the farm, participated in erecting the College's buildings and governed the College. This approach has influenced the programs of many major American institutions today.

Black Mountain's legacy lived on after the school closed in 1953 through its students -painter Robert Rauschenberg, publisher Jonathan Williams, poet John Wieners, who went on to begin their own cultural movements.

Connie Bostic, Chair of the Board of the Black Mountain College Museum Collection calls the school, "a momentous event for North Carolina, second only to the Wright Brothers flight."

Black Mountain College is an exciting piece of Western North Carolina history. The collection offers a sampling of the kind of visual art that made Black Mountain College a legend.

For further info check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 828/693-8504, e-mail at (artsctr@bellsouth.net) or on the web at (www.theartscenterofhc.com).

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