black mtn college

history of black mtn

[black mountain, nc]

intro’d to black mtn college – first via David and his sole in higher ed initiative. and Steve spending a year there.. et al.

then .. learning about its history via Fred Turner‘s democratic surround.. where he talks about the mash up of the bauhaus – the art arvantgarde (spaces of permission/experimentation) refugees from hitler’s regime, with John Cage. Buckminster Fuller

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wikipedia small

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. Although notable even during its short life, the school closed in 1957 after only 24 years.

Operating in a relatively isolated rural location with little budget, Black Mountain College inculcated an informal and collaborative spirit and over its lifetime attracted a venerable roster of instructors. Some of the innovations, relationships, and unexpected connections formed at Black Mountain would prove to have a lasting influence on the postwar American art scene, high culture, and eventually pop culture. Buckminster Fuller met student Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain, and the result was the first geodesic dome (improvised out of slats in the school’s back yard); Merce Cunningham formed his dance company; and John Cage staged his first happening (the term itself is traceable to Cage’s student Allan Kaprow, who applied it later to such events).

Not a haphazardly conceived venture, Black Mountain College was a consciously directed liberal arts school that grew out of the progressive education movement. In its day it was a unique educational experiment for the artists and writers who conducted it, and as such an important incubator for the American avant garde. Black Mountain proved to be an important precursor to and prototype for many of the alternative colleges of today ranging from Naropa University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Marlboro College to Evergreen State College,Bennington College, Hampshire College, Shimer College, Prescott College, Goddard College, World College West (1973-1992), and New College of Florida, among others, including Warren Wilson College located just minutes down the road from where Black Mountain College was located.

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and 2013 – black mtn sole

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article from 2015: http://mentalfloss.com/article/67717/americas-most-radical-educational-experiment

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