From 1933 to 1957 Black Mountain, North Carolina became a remote and unlikely center for some experimental artists including painters, architects, musicians, dancers and poets. Many of these artists now live on in our history books for their amazing talent.
This time period in architecture was the height of Bauhaus, a movement out of Germany that celebrated the minimization of ornament in architecture and design. Bauhaus, which means “house of construction” in German, was founded officially in 1919 and is often seen as the birth of Modernism. For a number of reasons, one being that the Nazis shut the Bauhaus down in Germany, these talented artists ended up in the beautiful setting of the North Carolina mountains. It’s with great pride that these design mavericks found Black Mountain for their creative environment to work.
Some of the more famous names that studied or taught at the Black Mountain School are architects Walter Gropius, Josef Albers, artists Robert Rauschenberg, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, William and Elaine de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller and Robert Motherwell. It was actually at Black Mountain where Buckminster Fuller in 1948 attempted to construct his first Geodesic dome.
The school closed its doors in 1956 but “the battleship,” as the visiting camp-goers now call the school building, still stands however sadly unappreciated and in disrepair. Today the campus is part of Camp Rockmont for boys.