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Goldberg Art Workshop Memorial Building

When Claire Goldberg died on November 25, 1945, her husband Bertrand Goldberg suggested to Black Mountain College that he would like to build a memorial at the college as a repository for her ashes. She had previously visited with her mother and had been impressed with the school. Goldberg had been a student at the Bauhaus in its last year 1932-33 and was acquainted with Josef and Anni Albers.

Goldberg recommended a single purpose building, possibly a space for art exhibitions. He would provide the plans and materials and the college the labor.

At the time the college was working with The Architects Collaborative (TAC) on a general site plan for the property and on designs for a dormitory.  A final decision was postponed on the Goldberg building until the larger plan was in place. In the spring of 1946, as controversy continued over the TAC buildings, the college decide to focus on the Goldberg Memorial.

On August 31, 1946, Goldberg visited the college and a site was selected north of the Studies Building and on the edge of the farm land. Goldberg returned to Chicago to make plans and a model, which he hoped to have ready by the end of the year. 

It is not clear what occasioned the long delay in completion of the plans. The absence of Josef Albers who was away on a year-and-a-half sabbatical may have been a contributing factor. One concern at the college was the absence of an architect to direct the construction. It had anticipated having a member on TAC on site to direct the construction of a dormitory along with the Goldberg Building.

In the latest know communication of June 3, 1948, Goldberg wrote that the plans were partially drawn but that he was unable to proceed due to financial losses.  In the interim he had remarried and was busy with other projects.

In the summer of 1948 he was scheduled to teach at the summer session. When he had to cancel at the last minute, he recommended Buckminster Fuller to take his place.


The Black Mountain College Project gratefully acknowledges a grant from the Graham Foundation
for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a study of architecture at Black Mountain College.