New York

“The Arts at Black Mountain College”

Grey Art Gallery

Black Mountain College has been a quasi-mythical footnote to the histories of some remarkable artists since its closing in 1957 after only 24 years of existence. Like an avant-garde version of a top-flight prep school, its name figures in the lives and careers of, among others, artists Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Josef Albers, and Robert Rauschenberg, dancer Merce Cunningham, musician John Cage, poets Charles Olson and Robert Creeley, and that unclassifiable esthetician Buckminster Fuller. Its complete roster of teachers and alumni reads like a Who’s Who of the cultural ’40s and ’50s in America. Today, 30 years after its demise, this Bauhaus-inspired experimental arts school still represents many people’s idea of the ideal art-school environment.

This was the last venue of “The Arts at Black Mountain College,” a traveling exhibition curated by Mary Emma Harris that originated at the

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