Date of birth:
1943 Summer Work Camp
When a high
school senior in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, Nell university such as the University of Wisconsin. At a
Christmastime tea, she saw Ruth O’Neill Burnette, who had graduated a
year ahead of her and was enrolled at BlackMountain
spoke enthusiastically of Black Mountain
and gave her a catalogue. She was accepted and spent the summer in upstate
New York where her aunt, also Nell Goldsmith, ran Camp Woodlea, a summer
camp for children. On her way south to Black Mountain,
she stopped in New York and had her “first drink in a New York bar” with Peter Hill, her
“step-second-cousin,” who had attended the Black
as had his sister Barbara Hill Steinau.
a general curriculum with an emphasis on architecture. At the time both
Lawrence Kocher and Anatole Kopp were teaching. She also took drawing with
Josef Albers and weaving with Anni Albers. Although the building program
had almost come to a stop because of the war, she helped construct four music practice cubicles. At the end of the second year she was admitted to
the Senior Division with an architecture major.
by Nell Goldsmith Heyns.
Both Nell Goldsmith Heyns and her brother Fred Goldsmith attended Black
Mountain as did their “step-second-cousins” Peter Hill and Barbara
Hill Steinau. Her first cousin Gerda Slavson Cooke, the daughter of her
aunt Nell Goldsmith, later enrolled.]
Nell Goldsmith Heyns at Black Mountain
College. Photo courtesy Heyns. All rights
Heyns left Black Mountain
after her second year to join the war effort. She enlisted in the Army and
was assigned to Homestead Army Air Base in Homestead, Florida.
When they learned she had taken architectural courses, she was briefly
given drafting projects. Thereafter, she was assigned to make name plates
for officers’s desks and other signs for the duration of the war. She
met her husband Hugo Heyns, an artist, at the Homestead. He later became an architect, and they lived in
the New Orleans area where he had his practice.
recalled that even at BlackMountain
her ultimate goal was to be a homemaker and rear a family. She and her
husband had seven children over a seventeen year period. She has studied
and taught ceramics as a hobby.
presently lives with her husband in Mississippi.