“What Does Not Change/Is the Will to Change”-Charles Olson (from his poem, The Kingfishers)
“Knowledge is the Harvest of Attention.”–Charles Olson
During the 30s, 40s, 50s, there was a college set up in North Carolina called Black Mountain College, which truly stressed a liberal arts education with plenty of arts. “Black Mountain College was born out of a desire to create a new type of college based on John Dewey’s principles of progressive education.”-blackmountaincollege.org American poet, Charles Olson was born today in 1910 and taught at Black Mountain College in the 40s and 50s. “The founders of the College believed that the study and practice of art were indispensable aspects of a student’s general liberal arts education, and they hired Josef Albers to be the first art teacher. Speaking not a word of English, he and his wife Anni left the turmoil in Hitler’s Germany and crossed the Atlantic Ocean by boat to teach art at this small, rebellious college in the mountains of North Carolina.”–blackmountaincollege.org
As a teenager and young woman, I was very taken with Black Mountain Press and the whole history of Black Mountain College and the Black Mountain collective of writers, dancers, artists and thinkers that held the teaching of the Arts to a very high standard and knew its importance for a well-rounded education and for transmitting humanity and culture. Black Mountain College was a collective that left the running of the school and the curriculum to the experts: the teachers. Some of the luminaries that taught at Black Mountain College include: choreographer Merce Cunningham, artists Jacob Lawrence and Wilem de Kooning, and so many more. The school closed in 1957.