Intellectual Retreat

Educational experiment attracted artists, musicians, free spirits

HUMANITIES, May/June 2011, Volume 32, Number 3

Josef Albers was one of the innovative teachers at short-lived Black Mountain College in Asheville, NC. The college was founded simultaneously with the rise of Hitler and attracted artists and intellectuals such as Albers and his wife who left German in the 1930s. Black Mountain's illustrative alumni and maverick spirits include Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley. The college closed its doors for good during the McCarthy era. The Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center has been awarded a grant from NEH for teacher workshops on the college's legacy.