Hours + Location

Mon + Wed – Sat 11:00 – 5:00 pm.

56 Broadway // 69 Broadway
Asheville, NC 28801
828-350-8484

info [at] blackmountaincollege [dot] org

Our Mission Statement

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) preserves and continues the legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College (BMC). We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

Arts advocate Mary Holden founded BMCM+AC in 1993 to celebrate the history of Black Mountain College as a forerunner in progressive interdisciplinary education and to explore its extraordinary impact on modern and contemporary art, dance, theater, music, and performance. Today, the museum remains committed to educating the public about BMC’s history and raising awareness of its extensive legacy. Our goal is to provide a gathering point for people from a variety of backgrounds to interact through art, ideas, and discourse.

BlackMountainCollegeMuseumConvergenceExhibtionClosing1_2015

BMCM+AC By the Numbers:

  • 200,000+ in-person engagements since 1993
  • 5,950+ collaborations with artists and other organizations
  • 51 exhibitions and 1,000+ events
  • 33 exhibition catalogues, dossiers and other publications
  • 3,000+ pieces of artwork and ephemera in our collection
  • 60+ oral histories created
About Black Mountain College

JosephAlberBlackMountainCollegeLogoOrginal1The story of Black Mountain College begins in 1933 and comprises a fascinating chapter in the history of education and the arts. Conceived by John A. Rice, a brilliant and mercurial scholar who left Rollins College in a storm of controversy, Black Mountain College was born out of a desire to create a new type of college based on John Dewey’s principles of progressive education. The events that precipitated the college’s founding occurred simultaneously with the rise of Adolf Hitler, the closing of the the Bauhaus school in Germany, and the beginning of the persecution of artists and intellectuals in Europe. Some of these refugees found their way to Black Mountain, either as students or faculty. Meanwhile, the United States was mired in the Great Depression.

The founders of the college believed that the study and practice of art were indispensable aspects of a student’s general liberal arts education, and they hired Josef Albers to be the first art teacher. Speaking not a word of English, he and his wife Anni left the turmoil in Hitler’s Germany and crossed the Atlantic Ocean by boat to teach art at this small, rebellious college in the mountains of North Carolina.

Black Mountain College was fundamentally different from other colleges and universities of the time. It was owned and operated by the faculty and was committed to democratic governance and to the idea that the arts are central to the experience of learning. All members of the college community participated in its operation, including farm work, construction projects, and kitchen duty. Twenty minutes east of Asheville, the secluded environment fostered a strong sense of individuality and creative intensity.

Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. A partial list includes Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Susan Weil, Vera B. Williams, Ben Shahn, Ruth Asawa, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others who have made an impact on the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to reverberate. For more information view our resources. 

People

Staff:
Jeff Arnal, Executive Director
Alice Sebrell, Program Director
Kate Averett, Mellon Performance Initiative Coordinator
Molly Silverstein, Development Coordinator
Nicole Erskine, Communications Coordinator
Andy Burns, Windgate Intern

Officers: 
Brian Butler, Co-Chair – Professor of Philosophy, UNC Asheville
Don Carson, Co-Chair – General Manager, RFA Management Co., LLC, Singer, Musician 
Brenda Coates, Secretary – Community Volunteer
Leigh Maher, Treasurer – LMM Business Consulting, CFO Leaf Festival/GM Lake Eden Events

Board of Directors: 
Helga Beam – Community Volunteer
Connie Bostic – Artist
John Byrd – Attorney
Curt Cloninger – Associate Professor of New Media, UNC Asheville
Marcia Cohen – Professor of Art, SCAD Atlanta 
John Cram – Owner of Blue Spiral 1, New Morning Gallery, Fine Arts Theatre, Bellagio
Amy Daugherty – Community Volunteer
Barry Friedlander – Retired Physician
Sydney Green – Community Volunteer and Small Business Owner
Rick Gruber – Director Emeritus, The Ogden Museum of Art
Larry Hopkins – Owner, Ananda Hair Studio
Liz Huesemann – Community Volunteer
Mary Lynn Kotz – Writer, Author of Rauschenberg: Art and Life
Dave Peifer – Professor of Mathematics, UNC Asheville 
Micah Pulleyn – Artist, Event Planner
Jane Anne Tager – Human Resources Director
Mary Holden Thompson – Director Emerita, Founder
Joseph R. Urgo – Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UNC Asheville
Amanda Wiles – Artist

Advisory Board:
Emoke B’Racz – Owner of Malaprop’s Bookstore
Jeff Davis – Poet, Computer Network Specialist
Gene Felice – New Media Artist, Teacher
Todd Fowler – Accountant, Todd and Company Accounting 
Jean B. Franklin – Co-Owner of Black Mountain Books
Katie Lee Koven – University Gallery Director, Utah State University
David McConville – President of the Buckminster Fuller Institute
Carol Pennell – Real Estate Broker
Susan Rhew – Graphic Designer, Susan Rhew Design
Glen Shults – Attorney
Fred Turner – Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I visit the former Black Mountain College campuses?
The former BMC campuses at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly and Lake Eden are owned and operated by private organizations. Unfortunately, we cannot offer tours to the general public on a regular basis. 

Is parking available at BMCM+AC?
BMCM+AC does not have a dedicated visitor parking lot. Please see this page for parking options in downtown Asheville. 

Can I take photos of the artwork on display?

Photography is welcome without flash. Please do not reproduce, distribute, or sell your photographs without permission from BMCM+AC.

How do I obtain permissions for image use?
If you would like to use images from our website for personal, educational, non-commercial, or commercial purposes, contact info [at] blackmountaincollege [dot] org. 

How are artists chosen for exhibitions?
BMCM+AC is proud to routinely exhibit the work of Black Mountain College faculty and students, as well as occasionally display the works of today’s artists under the influence of BMC. When opportunities arise for working artists to exhibit their work, we will share them through our website and other channels. We also involve local and regional artists in our ongoing event programming. Proposals are accepted year-round to info [at] blackmountaincollege [dot] org. 

How are artists/scholars chosen for the {Re}HAPPENING and the ReVIEWING conference?
As these annual events approach, we issue a call for submissions on our website and through many media outlets. Those submissions are reviewed by a committee and all applicants are notified of their status. Keep your eyes out for these calls, or email us if you have questions. We also involve local and regional artists in our ongoing event programming. Proposals are accepted year-round to info [at] blackmountaincollege [dot] org. 

Does BMCM+AC accept donations of artwork?
We are thrilled to accept donations of art and ephemera from the students and faculty of Black Mountain College. To learn more about donating to our permanent collection, please email info [at] blackmountaincollege [dot] org.