Black Mountain College Project
 
Gerald Barnes and students. Courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 272.5.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN EXPERIMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS
(1933-43)

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Formal Aspects of the Curriculum

       

INTRODUCTION TO THE SUNLEY PROJECT AND DOCUMENTS

Description of the Study by Robert Sunley
*   Letter to the Students
*   Guidelines
*   Brief Biographies of
    Contributors

*   Brief Biographies of
    Faculty Mentioned in
    the Memoirs
*

SECTION 1. ROLE OF THE ARTS

    Statement by Robert
    Sunley


The artistic process as
    a major goal.


*   Individual, active
    anticipation was
    fostered but not
    required.

*   Focus on really “seeing”
    and “thinking” for
    oneself, not on the
    production of art.


Self-direction, self-
    discipline, initiative,
    development of the
    whole person....

The arts were diffused
    throughout the
    education ....    

 

Advisors

Elizabeth Pollet: My assigned adviser was Josef Albers. ... Our interactions were brief. He told me I read too many books. I respectfully accepted these words of wisdom, though I thought them absurd. What does one go to college for if not to read books? Many years passed before I decided he was right.

Claude Stoller: At BMC Josef Albers was my faculty adviser who played an enormous role in my life as teacher, friend, and of course adviser. ... Outside of our classes I consulted with him on furniture I was designing and building, and he gave me direction and much encouragement in photography.

Marilyn Bauer Greenwald: As for the role of advisors: essentially, I think this was more often a theoretical concept than a reality. As a new student, I was, as promised, assigned an advisor. Unfortunately she was very young herself, as new to BMC as I, floundering just as much. Our attempt to establish a relationship was quickly abandoned, I suspect by mutual agreement. In my experience the only students who had real advisors, in the sense of guides or mentors, were those students who were working toward graduation, and in some instances even some of them (I, for one), were left to fend for themselves. Anni Albers, for unstated reasons, completely withdrew from the community during my senior year, so that I found myself teaching her classes for her, working toward graduation on my own, seldom ever seeing her.

John Swackhamer: I took general liberal arts classes and was constantly advised (by John Evarts, my advisor) to take fewer than what I wanted.

Harold Raymond: My first advisor, Walter Barnes, was kind and well-meaning but no great help. I shifted to Kenneth Kurtz who was more adapted to BMC advising and my interests.

Ruth O'Neill Burnett: I felt very fortunate in having Ted Dreier as my advisor. He was, to me, a man of intelligence and kindness and caring.

Gisela Kronenberg Herwitz: Jack French, himself a BMC graduate with a doctorate in Psychology from Harvard, was my advisor. He approved my choice of courses after I had audited them as well as others (French and German) during the pre-registration period....

 

 

SECTION 2. TEACHERS AND TEACHING

Introduction

Formal Aspects of the
Curriculum 

   Class Size 
   Grades    
   Advisors 
   Junior Division  
   Senior Division  
   Graduation

Methods of Teaching
   General

   John Andrew Rice 
   Josef Albers 
   Erwin Straus 
   Robert Wunsch 
   Others


Personalities of Faculty
  
John Rice  
   Josef Albers 
   Robert
Wunsch 
   Heinrich
Jalowetz  
   Others 

Outside the Classroom
   In General  
   The Work Program 
   Visitors -
   Trips 
   Drama 
   Interlude  
   Lectures, Concerts 
   Informal Interchange