Harry Callahan, Asheville, North Carolina , 1951, 1951 (image) late 1960s (print), gelatin silver print, 7.75 x 11.75 inches. © The Estate of Harry Callahan; Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York. Private Collection.

Jonathan Williams, Beauty and the Beast: Joel Oppenheimer and Francine du Plessix Gray, Black Mountain College, 1951, gelatin silver print, 21.75 x 21.25 inches. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of the Artist. Courtesy of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Collection. Permission to reproduce courtesy of Thomas Meyer.

January 20 – May 20, 2017 {69 Broadway}

Curated by Julie J. Thomson

Purchase Exhibition Catalogue

While thousands of photographs were taken at Black Mountain College there has not been a detailed examination of photography at the College. Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College will be the first in-depth exhibition and catalog devoted to this topic. Photography began as a workshop at Black Mountain College in the 1930s.

In the 1940s visiting photographers gave some instruction, and starting in 1944 photography courses were offered during the College’s summer sessions. In fall 1949 photography began to be offered as part of the school’s regular curriculum, with former student Hazel-Frieda Larsen being appointed the first full-time instructor in photography. Photographic education at Black Mountain College often focused on learning to see photographically, taking photographs, and the medium’s history.

Begin to See will feature photographs by a variety of artists including Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Josef Breitenbach, Harry Callahan, Trude Guermonprez, Robert Haas, Clemens Kalischer, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams.

Support for this project has been generously provided by the following: North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; O. Wayne Rollins Foundation; Windgate Charitable Foundation; Michael Carlebach + Margot Ammidown; Cynthia + Donald Carson; John E. Cram + Matt Chambers; Andrew Glasgow; and Mary Holden Thompson. Special thanks to Connie Bostic + Susan Rhew Design.

Related Events

In the News

Aperture article: Learning to See: Photography at Black Mountain College

Winston-Salem Journal coverage: Clear vision: Asheville museum brings influential college’s photographic legacy into sharp focus