Black Mountain College Project     



Donald Alter exhibition Donald Alter: Beyond Black Mountain at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison NY, January 9 - February 1, 2009/


Susan Weil
sudaram tagore gallery
527 West 27th Street
New York, NY

April 22 - May 17, 2008




March 27, 2008

This new newsletter will be less formal than the previous one. In it I will relate various news of interest both to Black Mountain alum and to those interested in the college.

The architecture section of the Project website has now been added. It was made possible by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The biographies of a number of architects and designer-builders have been added. Many more are in the process of being written. A guide to the campuses is also being written and will be added at a later date.

Of special interest for Black Mountain scholars is the availability of the papers of John Andrew Rice, college founder, at the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. John Andrew Rice Papers. The papers of Theodore and Barbara Dreier have been donated to the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina and will be available by this time next year. The papers of both of these gentlemen are essential to any understanding of the college's history.

The Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center (BMCMAC) in Asheville is currently showing the the art of Emerson Woelffer, who taught at the college in the summer of 1949. The Museum in conjunction with Lenior-Rhyne College is planning a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the college's founding in the fall. Once their plans are online, I will provide a link to that webpage.

Although I don't want the newsletter to sound like an obituary column, unfortunately the list of living college alumni grows shorter every year. Most recently, the death of Jonathan Williams is a great loss to the small press world and to his many friends. Jonathan started Jargon, his small press, at the Institute of Design not long before he enrolled at Black Mountain. Jonathan thrived in the fertile, intensive atmosphere at the college, and the early Jargon publications were collaborations between the Black Mountain artists and writers. Jonathan did everything: publisher, artist, poet, photographer. He will be missed.

Another loss to Black Mountain is Robert Sunley, who died this winter. Bob was a psychologist and social worker. Robert Sunley biography. He was especially concerned with the imbalance in the attention given to the Black Mountain of the 1940s and 1950s and the lack of interest in the early year. He sent a questionnaire to a number of people, hoping to come up with a sociological study that could be tabulated and provide some answers with respect to the influence of the college and what did and did not work. The students tended to react against being programmed and instead send mostly reflections and memoirs. Bob compiled these and they have been published on the Project website. Robert Sunley Project