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New Black Mountain paperback

Black Mountain College

Don’t know how the paperback publication of Vincent Katz’s Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art got past me, but it did. It was published in February. I just requested a copy.

This review has a good background paragraph on the glory in the mountains:

Black Mountain College began in 1933 as an experiment in higher education, but the arts were always an important component and so was the idea of cross-fertilization. The first inspiration was the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which advocated arts and crafts on an equal footing. Among the first Black Mountain teachers were Bauhaus painter Josef Albers and his wife (and craftsperson) Anni Albers.

It didn’t last forever, but was incredibly influential. Unlike most histories of schools (BOR-ING!) this one promises lots of juicy stories about the personalities at the school and how art gets done (it’s people! Art is made of… PEOPLE!). And what people there were at this small little college in the mountains of North Carolina…

… there were also historic moments that seem unlikely to have happened anywhere else. For example, there was a rare production of a play by composer Erik Satie, directed by future filmmaker Arthur Penn, with music performed by John Cage, dancing by Merce Cunningham, sets painted by artist Willem de Kooning, and starring Buckminster Fuller, who took time off from teaching how to make geodesic domes to play the outrageous lead character.