Black Mountain College Project
 

 

Robert Wunsch applying makeup to Tommy Brooks for the spring 1940 production of Ah, Wilderness! Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 97.1.  

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 ....    

 

William Robert Wunsch

Will Hamlin: Bob Wunsch taught writing and drama and, during my years there, was Rector (Rector: a member of the faculty with a role like that of the "Master" of one of the colleges that make up a British university ... the faculty member remained a faculty member while serving as Rector).

Robert Sunley: Bob Wunsch I learned much from, since he talked more openly about events and his feelings. Often late at night, after I had been with friends, I would go by his study and drop in to talk. I still see his earnest, puzzled expression, tussling with his conflict between Rice, his idol, and the good of the college, as some saw it. He was always writing down in his notebooks what Rice said and his own musings. I had not seen before in my life someone close up in the throws of severe inner doubt. He spoke of his unworthiness to be Rector after Rice was "rusticated" in the early part of 1938 and questioned why he was selected. My own learning came from being involved in the deliberations (as Student Moderator, serving on the Board of Fellows, the governing body) ... in seeing how a group reached agreement, not ideal but the best that could be done. Wunsch was an antidote to Rice, so to speak, not one who would dominate as Rice did, not one who could deftly criticize one or another of the faculty. I could see that Wunsch seemed the only one of the faculty, despite his own uncertainties, who could speak for everyone, who had a broad enough view of the college and was articulate. Others ... had perhaps more acumen, sounder practical judgment, but lacked the leadership elements.

Sue Spayth Riley: I did most of my work with Bob Wunsch, who though he was well-versed in the discipline of theatre, lacked the igniting spark that makes a great teacher.

Robert Wunsch applying makeup to Tommy Brooks for the spring 1940 production of Ah, Wilderness! Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 97.1.  

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