Black Mountain College Project
 

Jane Slater Marquis graduation exhibition. Courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers.

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 ....    

 

Graduation

Will Hamlin: ... the graduating examinations would be set—for the few students who wanted BMC "Certificate of Graduation"—by outside examiners (faculty from Ivy League or other prestigious colleges) whom we and our faculty advisors chose when we and they decided we were ready to take the exams.

Gisela Kronenberg Herwitz: My final third year at BMC was spent preparing for graduation. Erwin Straus became my advisor .... My senior plan included his course on Psychology for the Human World, a tutorial on General Psychology (advanced) and one on Abnormal Psychology as well as research and preparation of my senior thesis. Also included was History of Music with Lowinsky and a French conversation course.

John  Stix: I was not however, as a theatre major at the college, receiving an education. It was this realization which led me to switch to music and musicology, largely because of the cultural and philosophical prowess of the brilliant conductor Heinrich Jalowetz. Jalo had an irresistible gift to capture the essence, often humorously, of whatever subject he addressed. I proceeded to tutor with him. An intense and immensely rewarding year later, I graduated—in music.

Betty Young Williams: The comprehensive examinations prior to graduation were very stimulating and I was glad to have some very positive feedback from the examiner who came from Harvard for the purpose.

Marilyn Bauer Greenwald:  I found as I was graduating that there was a vast difference between having a flamboyant, outgoing, outside examiner as opposed to a rigid, up-tight examiner. Outside examiners were of course chosen by whatever faculty member one was working with. Thus personality was sometimes as much a factor as was objective evaluation in determining whether the candidate graduated with applause or with mere acceptance.



 

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