The Black Mountain College (BMC) in North Carolina was the leading institution for interdisciplinary arts education in the late 1940s. The curriculum included not only the fine arts, architecture and theatre, but also economics, physics and history. Many of America’s foremost artists, poets and designers of the time, as well as numerous emigrants from Germany who came to the Black Mountain College from the Bauhaus after it was closed by the Nazis, were among the teaching staff. The goal of the BMC was to establish a democratic and – in accordance with John Dewey’s principles of progressive education – experience-based, interdisciplinary teaching institute.
This publication is the first to examine the BMC’s educational model, its philosophical approaches and John Dewey’s philosophy of art with the aim of comprehensively understanding and reviving the BMC’s legacy in order to renew it in a participatory sense.
A major focus of this volume is the art project “PERFORMING the Black Mountain ARCHIVE” by Arnold Dreyblatt, in which students from European art academies were invited to translate an archive on the Black Mountain College created by Dreyblatt into the present time through performative interaction.