Marie Tavroges Stilkind, Natasha Goldowski, 1953. Gelatin silver print. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of Marie Tavroges Stilkind. 

Natasha Goldowski Renner (Faculty in Chemistry and Physics 1947–1953) (b.1907–d.1966)

Born in Russia, Natasha Goldowski was an accomplished scientist who taught chemistry and physics at BMC. Earlier in life she studied ballet and, after moving to the United States, worked as a research associate on The Manhattan Project. At BMC, Goldowski contributed to the cosmopolitan atmosphere with her advanced intellect and charismatic personality. It was rumored that a devastating fire in the building that housed the college’s chemistry lab and photography darkroom was caused by Natasha’s vodka still. During her time at BMC, Natasha met and married a student named Eric Renner, and the couple moved off campus but stayed in the area to grow mushrooms.