Black Mountain College Project
 


  
 

Concert at Black Mountain College. Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 262.4

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

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Outside the Classroom

       

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 ....    

 

Lectures, Readings, Concerts

Will Hamlin: ... many faculty presented evening lectures several times a semester ... these lectures were usually related either to what was going on on the news or to student or faculty work in progress. Some examples: 1) Eric Bentley and Fran deGraaff were among faculty who spoke about social/political events in England and Europe as World War II evolved. 2) I remember Jalowetz speaking twenty minutes or so about the structure of the piece, with brief musical illustrations, then he and the student performing the whole concerto a second time. 3) Josef and Anni Albers who had their students display work periodically also displayed and answered questions about their own work.

Gisela Kronenberg Herwitz: Some of the examiners for graduating students lectured during their stay at the college—Cora Du Bois, anthropology, comes to mind ... Clark Foreman spoke on race relations.

Leslie Paul Symington: William Morse Cole, Prof. Emeritus of Accounting at the Harvard Business School, drove down from his home in Concord to audit the books ... in the evening he conducted Shakespeare readings....

Mary Brett Daniels: Concerts in the dining hall on Saturday nights ... Jalowetz's memorable presentations of the Mozart operas. Sitting at the piano with Lisa's drawings of the scenes posted on an easel, he would perform the entire opera, explaining the dramatic themes, the cultural relevance, and the musical harmonics.

Will Hamlin: I remember walking into the Lee Hall living room that evening (on first arriving at BMC). Heinrich Jalowetz and his pupil Maude Dabbs were playing Debussy's Etude en Blanc et Noir for piano four hands. Students were sitting on the floor in front of the piano ... several were following the music on printed scores.

Robert Sunley: Then there were performances by Allan Sly, who had been a concert pianist, by talented students, by visitors such as Yella Pessl whose visit was heralded by the arrival of a full-sized harpsichord.

Claude Stoller: Participatory music and the concert program at BMC opened a world for me of great importance in my life ... although I never took one of his courses, Jalowetz was a profound influence on me.

 

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