Image: Black Mountain College via OurState.com
“But most important to one’s own growth is to see oneself leave the safe ground of accepted conventions and to find oneself alone and self-dependent. It is an adventure which can permeate one’s whole being. Self-confidence can grow. And a longing for excitement can be satisfied without external means, within oneself; for creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know.” ― Anni Albers
Located near Asheville, North Carolina, the Bauhaus-inspired Black Mountain College was only in operation for twenty-three years, but the artists who taught and studied there are celebrated to this day. Some of the most influential designers of the late 20th century came out of the program like Josef and Anni Albers, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Walter Gropius, Buckminster Fuller, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa, and Jacob Lawrence to name a few. They were instrumental in their influences on Modern and Mid-Century design and designers of these movements. Natalie credits much of her schooling and design training to this unique institution, as her interdisciplinary training at the School of Design at North Carolina State University (her alma mater) grew out of programing from the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College. Our own design philosophies and practices at Alabama Chanin are rooted deeply in many Bauhaus ideologies and practices, but we’ll save that for another day.
This week we take a look into Black Mountain College, the artists, and the works of two designers and artists who are inspiring us right now: Anni Albers and Ruth Asawa. These women’s groundbreaking works have transcended artistic styles and time and are sources of inspiration for Natalie and our team.
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
“The Short Life and Long Legacy of Black Mountain College”
“Question Everything! The Women of Black Mountain College”
On Design: The School of Bauhaus + Creative Process on the Journal
On Design: Ray and Charles Eames on the Journal
“The Enduring Legacy of Ruth Asawa’s Mesmerizing Sculptures”
“Oral History Interview with Ruth Asawa and Albert Lanier” from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
“Anni Albers, The ‘Designer’s Artist’ Who Put Women on the Grid”
An Interview with Anni Albers on teaching at Black Mountain College
In Alabama: From the archives, “Y’all Hear ’bout the Alabama Bauhaus?” Featured in Architects + Artisans, 2010.
Explore our newly updated Leisure Collection and find inspirations along the way.
Big fan of BMC. I was able to visit the museum a couple of years ago and purchased the book Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art. It’s also mentioned quite a few times in Sally Mann’s memoirs as well as the biography of Diane Arbus. It seems like it was the less strict, Americanized version of Bauhaus which seems fitting for the time & culture. I wish things like that existed today. Can’t wait to check out the links above…
Thank you for sharing, Ryan!