Black Mountain College

"I hitchhiked down there (...), and I loved it. It was really the perfect place. There was this idyllic oasis in the mountains with a lake and modern studio building--something paradisiacal. M.C. Richards, who was teaching poetry there at the time, was exactly who I wanted to study with. And they gave me a scholarship! Wow! I hitchhiked back down and I arrived there in the middle of absolute chaos. The management or the administration and the teachers were all fighting with each other on philosophical and financial grounds. M.C.'s husband at the time was Bill Levy, the dean, and he left, taking M.C. with him. I was desolate because the guy who then took charge of the school was Hans Albers, a painter. Albers was out of the same mold as my father: the Germanic disciplinarian. I couldn't take it, so I split. Probably a major piece of misthinking on my part, but I was young and carefree. I met a lot of interesting people in the two weeks that I was down there who later on became influential in my life: M.C., John Cage, the Williams - Paul and Vera - on and on." (src(external link))

Black Mountain College, founded in 1933 near Asheville, North Carolina, was known as one of the leading progressive schools in the United States. It ceased operations in 1957. Although it lasted only about twenty-three years and enrolled fewer than 1'200 students, Black Mountain College was one of the most fabled experimental institutions in art education and practice, launching a remarkable number of the artists who spearheaded the avant-garde in the America of the 1960s. Buckminster Fuller formed his dance company; and John Cage staged his first happening.

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