Black Mountain College

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Black Mountain College, a school founded in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina (near Asheville, North Carolina), was a new kind of college in the United States in which the study of art was seen to be central to a liberal arts education, and in which John Dewey's principles of education played a major role. Many of the school's students and faculty were influential in the arts or other fields, or went on to become influential, such as Josef Albers, Anni Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Walter Gropius, Willem de Kooning, Hilda Morley, Robert Motherwell, Beaumont Newhall, Robert Rauschenberg, Kenneth Snelson, David Tudor, a.o. Although notable even during its short life, the school closed in 1957 after only 24 years. The history and legacy of Black Mountain College are preserved and extended through Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, in downtown Asheville, NC.


  • Black Mountain College, 1933-1934, Black Mountain, NC, 1934, [41] pp. Also contains: Black Mountain College Bulletin 2 with the essay "Concerning Art Instruction" by Josef Albers, June 1934; two Black Mountain College Bulletins 3 in the form of a November 1934 article from the Dayton Daily News about Black Mountain College and a reprint from Arts and Decoration, January 1935, entitled "Art as a Fourth 'R'".
  • Black Mountain College Bulletin, 8 numbers, 1933-44.
  • Black Mountain College Newsletter, 17 numbers, 1938-42.
  • Prospectus, c1943.


  • Design 47(8): "Black Mountain College", 4 Apr 1946. [1]
  • Jean Charlot, "Black Mountain College: A Diary", Form 6, December 1967, pp 26-28.
  • Martin Duberman, Black Mountain College: An Exploration in Community, New York: Dutton, 1972; Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, OL, OL; repr., WW Norton, 1993, 578 pp; repr., Northwestern University Press, 2009, xxiii+578 pp.
  • Black Mountain Revisited Symposium, 1985. Audio recordings from the conference; published online 2016.
  • Mary Emma Harris, The Arts at Black Mountain College, MIT Press, 1987, OL; new ed., 2002, 650 pp. [2]
  • Fielding Dawson, The Black Mountain Book: A New Edition, North Carolina Wesleyan, 1991, OL.
  • Mervin Lane, Black Mountain College: Sprouted Seeds: An Anthology of Personal Accounts, University of Tennessee Press, 1991.
  • Vincent Katz (ed.), Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art, MIT Press, 2003.
  • Michael Rumaker, Black Mountain Days, Black Mountain Press, 2003.
  • The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, eds. Tom Frank, Julie J. Thomson, et al., Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, since 2005.
  • Christopher Benfey, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival, New York: Penguin, 2012, OL. Memoir.
  • Jean-Pierre Cometti, Éric Giraud (eds.), Black Mountain College. Art, démocratie, utopie, Rennes: PUR, 2014, 196 pp. Introduction, [3]. (French)
  • Eva Díaz, The Experimenters: Chance and Design at Black Mountain College, University of Chicago Press, 2015, 256 pp. [4] [5]
  • Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957, ed. Helen Molesworth, Boston: Institute for Contemporary Art, and Yale University Press, 2015, 400 pp. Catalogue. Review: Gore (CAA).
  • More


Art and design schools

Bauhaus (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, 1919-33), Vitebsk Popular Art Institute (Vitebsk, 1919-22), VkHUTEMAS (Moscow, 1920-26), School of Arts and Crafts (Bratislava, 1928-39), Black Mountain College (Black Mountain/NC, 1933-57), Ulm School of Design (Ulm, 1953-68), Academy of Media Arts (Cologne, est. 1990), Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam, est. 2001)