Black Mountain College Project
 

Drawing class of Josef Albers: Left to right: Harriett Engelhardt, Bela Martin, Lisa Jalowetz Aronson (stooping), Josef Albers, Robert de Niro, Martha McMillan, Eunice Schifris, Claude Stoller. Photo courtesy North Carolina  State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 8.3.

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

Section 2: Teachers and Teaching: Personalities of Faculty

       

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 ....    

 

Josef Albers

Alexander Eliot: Albers had found his feet at Black Mountain. He took charge there and became not only a great teacher but also a seminal painter – a colorist of the very subtlest order ... Albers awakened, trained, and/or inspired many of the men and women who would significantly shape and reshape American art. But whether he acknowledged the fact or not, Albers himself owed a permanent, personal debt to John Rice.

Claude Stoller: He was far and away the most stimulating personality that I had ever encountered. He did open my eyes and it changed my life. 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.

Harold Raymond: Albers seemed too hostile to my interests and to democratic values so that I could never feel comfortable with him. This may be unfair, but it was how he affected a surprisingly large group of students in the 1933-43 decade. Some of the art students were the most isolated from the general life of the community while a minority of the painting students developed a style in open conflict with Albers's teaching.

Robert Sunley: Albers, a master in his own field, did not shine on the Board (of Fellows): he was Germanic in his views, lofty and even disdainful about students' opinions, conservative in his outlook though sincere in his concern for the college.

Ruth O'Neill Burnett: Not that he required that kind of hero-worship – he was really a rather shy kind of person and sweet natured as I remember. Later, when he and I were both at Yale University ... that evaluation of his personality was confirmed.

Drawing class of Josef Albers: Left to right: Harriett Engelhardt, Bela Martin, Lisa Jalowetz Aronson (stooping), Josef Albers, Robert de Niro, Martha McMillan, Eunice Schifris, Claude Stoller. Photo courtesy North Carolina  State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 8.3.

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