Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center has been awarded $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a pilot project creating online access to the museum’s Permanent Collection. This project includes research, digital strategy growth, and software development. It will lay the foundation to create an invaluable resource for scholars studying Black Mountain College’s history and legacy as it includes the creative output of groundbreaking figures in American culture from 1933 to the present, across visual, performing, and literary arts.

Digitization of the BMCM+AC Permanent Collection began in 2017 with funding from the Luce Foundation, and is ongoing. Support from the NEH will make it possible for us to develop long-term, sustainable strategies for sharing these historic resources.

BMCM+AC was selected for this award on the basis of a highly competitive and rigorous review process. We thank the National Endowment for the Humanities for its dedication to enriching our communities through preservation and access to significant humanities resources.

The BMCM+AC Permanent Collection is made up of over 4,000 objects dating from the 1930s through the present, with works by alumni and faculty demonstrating the progression of their careers at and following Black Mountain College. The collection includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, ceramics, textiles, assemblage, furniture, blueprints, books, and paperworks. In addition, the museum has been facilitating oral history documentation since 1999, resulting in a collection of recorded interviews with fifty-eight Black Mountain College alumni to date.

Pieces from the collection are frequently used in rotating exhibitions, illuminating connections between artists, objects, and the pervading atmosphere of experimentation and interdisciplinary influence at the College. In order to ensure that the collection can continue to serve as a resource for exhibits as well as external researchers such as writers, students, and artists, BMCM+AC provides for the conservation and preservation needs of a vast array of types of materials.