THE ARTISTS, POETS and PROFESSORS of BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE (the college featured in the film THE LONGEST RIDE) Part 20 Walter Gropius, Bauhaus,

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Nicholas Sparks Talks Adapting ‘The Longest Ride’ to the Screen

The Longest Ride Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Britt Robertson Movie HD

 

My first post in this series was on the composer John Cage and my second post was on Susan Weil and Robert Rauschenberg who were good friend of CageThe third post in this series was on Jorge Fick. Earlier we noted that  Fick was a student at Black Mountain College and an artist that lived in New York and he lent a suit to the famous poet Dylan Thomas and Thomas died in that suit.

The fourth post in this series is on the artist  Xanti Schawinsky and he had a great influence on John Cage who  later taught at Black Mountain College. Schawinsky taught at Black Mountain College from 1936-1938 and Cage right after World War II. In the fifth post I discuss David Weinrib and his wife Karen Karnes who were good friends with John Cage and they all lived in the same community. In the 6th post I focus on Vera B. William and she attended Black Mountain College where she met her first husband Paul and they later  co-founded the Gate Hill Cooperative Community and Vera served as a teacher for the community from 1953-70. John Cage and several others from Black Mountain College also lived in the Community with them during the 1950’s. In the 7th post I look at the life and work of M.C.Richards who also was part of the Gate Hill Cooperative Community and Black Mountain College.

In the 8th post I look at book the life of   Anni Albers who is  perhaps the best known textile artist of the 20th century and at Paul Klee who was one  of her teachers at Bauhaus. In the 9th post the experience of Bill Treichler in the years of 1947-1949  is examined at Black Mountain College. In 1988, Martha and Bill started The Crooked Lake Review, a local history journal and Bill passed away in 2008 at age 84.

In the 10th post I look at the art of Irwin Kremen who studied at Black Mountain College in 1946-47 and there Kremen spent his time focused on writing and the literature classes given by the poet M. C. Richards. In the 11th post I discuss the fact that Josef Albers led the procession of dozens of Bauhaus faculty and students to Black Mountain.

In the 12th post I feature Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) who was featured in the film THE LONGEST RIDE and the film showed Kandinsky teaching at BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE which was not true according to my research. Evidently he was invited but he had to decline because of his busy schedule but many of his associates at BRAUHAUS did teach there. In the 13th post I look at the writings of the communist Charles Perrow. 

Willem de Kooning was such a major figure in the art world and because of that I have dedicated the 14th15th and 16th posts in this series on him. Paul McCartney got interested in art through his friendship with Willem because Linda’s father had him as a client. Willem was a  part of New York School of Abstract expressionism or Action painting, others included Jackson Pollock, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Anne Ryan, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, Clyfford Still, and Richard Pousette-Dart.

In the 17th post I look at the founder Ted Dreier and his strength as a fundraiser that make the dream of Black Mountain College possible. In the 18th post I look at the life of the famous San Francisco poet Robert Duncan who was both a student at Black Mountain College in 1933 and a professor in 1956. In the 19th post I look at the composer Heinrich Jalowetz who starting teaching at Black Mountain College in 1938 and he was one of  Arnold Schoenberg‘s seven ‘Dead Friends’ (the others being Berg, Webern, Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, Karl Kraus and Adolf Loos). In the 20th post I look at the amazing life of Walter Gropius, educator, architect and founder of the Bauhaus.

Opening of the ’50 Years of the Bauhaus’ exhibition in Stuttgart: speech by Walter Gropius to students from the Hochschule für Gestaltung (College of Design) in Ulm, protesting about its closure, 1968

after 1933

The Bauhaus was forced to close down in 1933 due to pressure from the Nazis. However, its ideas continued to spread all over the world along with the emigrating Bauhaus members – to the USA, Switzerland, Russia, Israel and many other countries.

In the USA, Josef Albers became a respected art teacher at Black Mountain College (Asheville, North Carolina), which at times regarded itself as a successor to the Bauhaus. In 1937, László Moholy-Nagy founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago, which took up the educational programme developed in Weimar and Dessau by Walter Gropius and developed it further. Photography now played a more important part than it had earlier. The methodology of the New Bauhaus was adopted and modified by many other American colleges. This played a role in pushing back the Beaux Arts tradition that had predominated in the USA up to that time. In addition, the emigré former Bauhaus Directors Walter Gropius, Professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Director of the Department of Architecture at the Armour Institute in Chicago, contributed to the further spread of Bauhaus thought in their work and teaching.

In West Germany, the Bauhaus idea of linking the arts and crafts was initially continued after the Second World War at crafts colleges such as those in Krefeld, Cologne and Kassel. From 1955, the College of Design in Ulm arrived on the scene with a claim to be working in the spirit of the Bauhaus. The goal was ‘to improve the quality, form and usefulness of consumer goods that are manufactured in Germany’. Although the college later tried to distance itself from the Bauhaus model by developing contours of its own, its beginnings under its first Rector, former Bauhaus student Max Bill, were clearly marked by the Bauhaus. The college in Ulm became the internationally most important college of design after the Bauhaus, and its products represented German design for many decades.

In East Germany, an initial attempt to revive the Bauhaus in Dessau failed one year after the end of the war. The college was politically unwelcome in the early period of the GDR, and a rapprochement with it only took place in 1976 with the reconstruction of the Dessau Bauhaus building in accordance with its historic monument status. A start was made on establishing a historical collection on the Bauhaus, and the Bauhaus theatre was revived. Ten years later, the GDR celebrated the reopening of the Bauhaus as a ‘Centre for Design’, under the aegis of the East German Construction Ministry. The fall of Communism in 1989 ended this chapter of the Bauhaus’s history.

Some elements of the Bauhaus teaching method – particularly the preliminary course – are still being used at college level. The Bauhaus’s influence continues to be seen above all in its fundamental ideas and methods, even more than in specific forms and products.

 

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Allegra Fuller Snyder – Black Mountain: The Start of a Critical Path

Published on Oct 12, 2012

Reviewing 4 Black Mountain College Museum International Conference
Allegra Fuller Snyder (Conference Keynote Speaker)
Black Mountain: The Start of a Critical Path

Allegra Fuller Snyder is Buckmister Fuller’s only living child and is the Founder, first President, and now Board member emeritus of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. She is also Professor Emerita of Dance and Dance Ethnology, UCLA; 1992 American Dance Guild Honoree of the Year; former Chair of the Department of Dance; and founding Coordinator of the World Arts and Cultures Program. She has been on the Dance Faculty at Cal Arts as well as Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey, Guildford, England. She began her career as a performer and choreographer and has been concerned with the relation of dance to film since the late 1940s. She has made several prize winning documentary films on dance. She has done dance research around the world, was the recipient of several Fulbright Scholarships. Among many special projects Snyder was a Core Consultant on the PBS series DANCING for WNET/Channel 13. Recently returning to performance, Jennifer Fisher of the LA times said of her in “Spirit Dances 6: Inspired by Isadora,” “She was a haiku and an epic.”

Sponsored by the Green Restaurants of AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurants)

Videography and Post by Michael Folliett
at Image Preservations.com

GIVING UP THE HORSE – TED DREIER AND WALTER GROPIUS

Theodore (‘Ted’) Dreier was – in many ways – the unsung hero of Black Mountain College. John Andrew Rice receives much of the credit for the College’s founding, though Dreier was at his side following the famous ‘Rollins fracas’ (1) and remained a central member of the College community for the first sixteen years of its existence. Dreier was never the outspoken and confrontational pedagogue that Rice was, nor was he a ground breaking artist like Josef or Anni Albers, the other longest-serving members of the BMC faculty. However, Dreier’s contributions to the College were just as – if not more – crucial to its survival than anyone else’s. Through his dogged commitment, patient accounting, and relentless fundraising, Black Mountain College continued operation through immense difficulty. Dreier gave much of his life to the College, which could never have survived without him.

Summer Arts Institute Faculty, Black Mountain College, 1946. Left to right: Leo Amino, Jacob Lawrence, Leo Lionni, Ted Dreier, Nora Lionni, Beaumont Newhall, Gwendolyn Lawrence, Ise Gropius, Jean Varda (in tree), Nancy Newhall (sitting), Walter Gropius, Mary "Molly" Gregory, Josef Albers, Anni Albers. Courtesy of Western Regional Archives.

An engineer with a degree from Harvard, Dreier always wished he could spend more time teaching at Black Mountain. He was listed in various Black Mountain Bulletins as the instructor in mathematics and physics. Later, he spent a great deal of time preparing a course on the ‘Philosophy of Science.’ Yet most of the time, he found himself in charge (first as treasurer, later as rector) of the College’s finances and its physical plant. Many of his wealthy contacts were called upon time and time again to rescue Black Mountain from collapse. Dreier had an unshakable belief in the College’s mission, so eloquently put forward by Rice from the beginning, but he matched that ideological commitment with a practical ability to raise funds and win supporters – the much-needed ‘Friends of the College.’ His family lived at Black Mountain, and his son – Ted Jr. – grew up and studied there. The distressing chapter of Dreier’s Black Mountain story came years after Rice’s departure, when – after the Second World War – the College went through its most difficult and trying period.

An American of German descent, Dreier had very close relationships with Josef and Anni Albers, and also – on even more personal terms – with Walter and Ise Gropius, and their daughter Ati, who graduated from Black Mountain College in 1946 and who was the godmother of the Dreiers’ daughter. Founder of the legendary German design school, the Bauhaus, Gropius exercised enormous influence over Black Mountain. Though he never served there permanently, he was a member of the Board of Advisors, taught at the famous summer art institutes, and acted in generous friendship toward Black Mountain and the Dreier family.

In the Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, a large portion of Gropius’ collected correspondence illustrates the close relationship his family had with the Dreiers. It also – quite painfully for one invested in the history of the College – tells the story of Dreier’s disillusionment and, finally, his departure from the radical institution he played such a large part in creating. One letter to Dreier shows the sacrifices Gropius was willing to make in order to allow his daughter Ati’s continued education at Black Mountain:

I had meant to write to you regarding Ati when your letter arrived. Meanwhile I have carefully checked up on my financial status regarding a second college year for Ati. I have given up my horse, our second car and we put up a roomer in Ati’s room. After this the utmost my shrunken budget allows me to spend for Ati’s next College year is 1000$. I should like to leave it to you to decide which may be the better way for Ati to make good on the difference either in your summer camp or here in war work.(2)

In response, Dreier assured Gropius that Ati might find work as part of the summer music institute – work that would not be so demanding as in a war factory or on the College farm, and which would allow her time and energy to pursue her studies in art. On April 26, Dreier wrote, ‘Ati was quite jealous of my having heard from you before she did but she was really extremely happy to think that there was a good chance now of her coming back next year […] I have a feeling myself that it would be a good thing and I believe that the Albers agree with me.’

Many other letters between Dreier and Gropius sketch a close, familial relationship. They invite one another and their families for visits to Cambridge, Mass., Black Mountain, and New York; they recount holidays together and hopes for putting the College’s affairs in order. Dreier even wrote to Ise Gropius about the possibility of moving to post-war Germany:

The other day we had a faculty candidate for history who had been in Military Government in Germany for a year speak. He had been Educational and Fine Arts Officer […] Most people liked his talk which was certainly very interesting, but there is something that bothers me terribly about the kind of aloof objectivity with which such a man can talk about Germany and the people and the problems of education and denazification. Although I am naturally not considering any such thing seriously because I still hope things may work out here at Black Mountain (and please consider my mentioning it confidential), the idea had crossed my mind that if I left maybe a place that I could be of as much use as any would be in Germany […] But the very thought of living comfortably in a country while everyone else was half-starving and discouraged is something that would be almost impossible to do if one has any feelings for the people at all. (3)

With the closeness of their relationship, it is no wonder that Dreier included Gropius in the mailing of his resignation from Black Mountain. On August 31, 1948, Dreier wrote to Walter and Ise, ‘This is just a line to say that the die is finally cast. A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I simply could not undertake another reorganization of the college […] I said I wanted to leave.’ (4) In fact, Dreier stayed on just a bit longer in order to help transition to the leadership of Josef Albers as College rector.

Beside personal correspondence, one of the most fascinating pieces in the Gropius collection is Ted Dreier’s ‘Summary Report – Black Mountain College: the First 15 ½ Years,’ written as part of his resignation. The ten-page document was written at a point when Dreier was understandably frustrated and bitter, yet the clarity (and even charity) of his writing still comes through when addressing the core principles of the Black Mountain experiment. He writes, ‘For 15 ½ years Black Mountain has stood for a non-political radicalism in higher education which, like all true radicalism, sought to find modern means for getting back to fundamentals.’ (5) This, he concedes, was largely achieved in the early years, and the character of the College under Albers exemplified these ideals. Dreier saw the reconstitution of the College after the War as the period in which things changed. Infighting was rampant. Younger members of staff who – Dreier points out – had no connection to the foundation of the College advocated divergent pedagogies. ‘There has to be agreement,’ Dreier wrote, ‘about method as well as about aim, and readiness to follow the method.’ (6)

Yet Dreier had not entirely given up hope for Black Mountain, even as he knew his time there was finished: ‘If the effort is made to continue the College it will have to be made by others who may or may not stand for what Black Mountain has stood for in the past.’ Even in despair, Dreier anticipated a rebirth of the College. This is exactly what would happen, very much in the way Dreier describes. When Charles Olson became the dominant force at Black Mountain in the early 1950s, he looked back to the founding principles laid out by Rice and Dreier, while also looking toward a future that would be, in many ways, quite different. Olson’s Black Mountain – and especially his style of leadership – would probably not have been met with Dreier’s enthusiasm. (We must recognize, Olson’s leadership finally failed; he was not the organizer and fundraiser that Dreier had been.) In the end, it was Olson – not Dreier – who had to spend years liquidating the College’s assets and setting its affairs in order. But, after Dreier’s departure, the College did gain new life. Many people today know of Black Mountain through the Olson phase, which included writers Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan, and the creation of the “Black Mountain Review”. However, Dreier must be given his due. If it were not for his strenuous efforts on behalf of the institution, there would have been no place at Lake Eden for those who followed.

by Jonathan Creasy
Trinity College Dublin/ New Dublin Press


(1) Rice was terminated from his tenured position as professor at Rollins College in Florida when the College’s President, Hamilton Holt, objected to Rice’s teaching practices and general demeanor. A famous hearing occurred, held by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), in which Rice was vindicated, but he left Rollins anyway. This is the fabled beginning of the move toward Black Mountain. Most of the initial faculty and students at BMC followed Rice from Rollins. Dreier was a key member of this group. (For more detail, see Martin Duberman’s Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, Dutton: 1972.)
(2) Letter from Walter Gropius to Theodore Dreier, April 16, 1944. The Bauhaus Archive, Berlin.
(3) Letter from Theodore Dreier to Ise Gropius, August 22, 1947. The Bauhaus Archive, Berlin.
(4) Letter from Theodore Dreier to Walter and Ise Gropius, August 31, 1948. The Bauhaus Archive.
(5) Dreier, Theodore. ‘Summary Report – Black Mountain College: The First 15 ½ Years.’ Walter Gropius Collection, The Bauhaus Archive, Berlin.
(6) Ibid.

 

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Walter Gropius, educator, architect and founder of the Bauhaus, fled Germany for England where he worked with Maxwell Fry and the Isokon Group in London. In 1937, he accepted an invitation to teach architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. From 1938-52 he was Chairman of the Department of Architecture.

Gropius first visited Black Mountain in December 1937. His former Bauhaus colleagues Josef and Anni Albers and Xanti Schawinksy were teaching there, and the visit was an occasion both for a visit with friends and for an informal discussion of plans for the development of the Lake Eden property which the college had purchased in June 1937. Gropius and his wife Ise Frank Gropius, along with their daugher Beate “Ati”, had arrived in the United States the previous May.

In January 1939, Gropius and Marcel Breuer, with whom he had formed a partnership, were commissioned by the college to design a complex of buildings for the Lake Eden campus. Had these buildings been constructed, they would have been the architects’ first major architectural project in the United States, and their influence undoubtedly would have been equal to that of the Bauhaus buildings at Dessau. (Gropius-Breuer designs)

A publicity and fundraising campaign for the buildings was launched with a meeting at the Museum of Modern Art in January 1940 and with a second meeting in June. For a number of reasons – the necessity of a move to Lake Eden in June 1941, the impending entry of the United States in the European conflict, and failure to raise the initial $75,000 to construct the first building – the buildings were never constructed.

From 1939 until 1949, when Josef and Anni Albers left the college, Gropius had a close relationship with Black Mountain. He was a member of the Advisory Council from April 1940 until the spring of 1949 and visited the college for meetings. He also was guest lecturer at the 1944, 1945 qnd 1946 Summer Art Institutes. After the war the college turned to the newly-formed Architects Collaborative, of which Gropius was a member, for plans for a women’s dorm. In May 1946 his house was one of three opened for a benefit for the college. His daughter Beate ‘Ati’ Gropius (Johansen) attended the college from the summer of 1943 through the summer of 1946.

At Harvard Gropius encountered an entrenched beaux-arts tradition, and the transition to a modern curriculum was a slow process. He invited Josef Albers to teach seminars and for a full semester, but he was never able to obtain a tenured professorship for him. On the other hand, Albers, when he observed the struggles Gropius encountered in effecting change at Harvard, was not eager to leave Black Mountain where there was no established tradition. Gropius encouraged his Harvard students to study with Albers at Black Mountain and to attend the summer program for practical building experience.

Black Mountain. An Interdisciplinary Experiment 1933 – 1957

from: 05.06.2015 to: 27.09.2015
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin presents the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany devoted to the legendary Black Mountain College. Founded in 1933 in North Carolina, USA, Black Mountain rapidly rose to fame on account of its progressive teaching methods and the many prominent figures who taught and studied there. Its influence upon the development of the arts in the second half of the 20th century was enormous; the performatisation of the arts, in particular, that emerged as from the 1950s derived vital impetus from the experimental practice at Black Mountain. The founders wanted to establish a democratic, experiential, interdisciplinary educational facility in line with the forward-thinking pedagogical ideas of philosopher John Dewey. The exhibition traces the history of this university experiment in its main outlines. In the first few years of its existence, the college was strongly shaped by German and European émigrés – among them several former Bauhaus members such as Josef and Anni Albers, Alexander “Xanti” Schawinsky and Walter Gropius. After the Second World War, the creative impulses issued increasingly from young American artists and academics, who commuted between rural Black Mountain and the urban centres on the East and West Coast. Right up to its closure in 1957, the college remained imbued with the ideas of European modernism, the philosophy of American pragmatism and teaching methods that aimed to encourage personal initiative as well as the social competence of the individual.

Within an architectural environment designed by the architects’ collective raumlabor_berlin, the exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof is showing works both by teachers at the college, such as Josef and Anni Albers, Richard Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Shoji Hamada, Franz Kline, Xanti Schawinsky and Jack Tworkov, and by a number of Black Mountain students, including Ruth Asawa, Ray Johnson, Ursula Mamlok, Robert Rauschenberg, Dorothea Rockburne and Cy Twombly. A wealth of photographs and documentary film footage, as well as publications produced by the college, offer an insight into the way in which the institute worked and into life on campus.

The interdisciplinary and experimental methods and community-based forms of living adopted at Black Mountain had a profound influence upon the artistic and social transformations of the 1960s and are still relevant today. In order to investigate the contemporary relevance of Black Mountain’s pedagogical approach, students from various colleges are presenting archival materials in the form of readings, concerts and performances within the exhibition itself over the entire duration of the show. Specifically for these performances, artist and composer Arnold Dreyblatt has developed a concept under the title “Performing the Black Mountain Archive”. Within the framework of a score drawn up by Dreyblatt, short performances will take place at various locations within the exhibition every morning between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and every afternoon between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The project “Performing the Black Mountain Archive” will be implemented by students from the following colleges and universities: Universität der Künste Berlin (Sound Studies), Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz, Berlin (Dance, Context, Choreography), Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn (North American Studies Program / German Studies), Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (Fine Art), Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel (Media Art / Typography and Design), Hochschule der Künste Bern (Performance Art / Media Art CAP), Kunstakademiet i Oslo (Fine Art), Norwegian Theater Academy – Høgskolen i Østfold, Fredrikstad (Theatre), Konstfack – University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm (Fine Art).

In collaboration with the Freie Universität Berlin (Institute of Theatre Studies, Prof. Annette Jael Lehmann) and the Dahlem Humanities Center, it has been possible to prepare two public symposia (in May 2014 and on September 25 + 26, 2015) and maintain a blog directly related to the exhibition.

For further information see www.black-mountain-research.com

Exhibition curators: Eugen Blume, Gabriele Knapstein

Curatorial assistance and project management: Matilda Felix

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, published by Spector Books, Leipzig

For further information about the Black Mountain College see www.blackmountaincollege.org

An exhibition by the Nationalgalerie  in the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin and the Dahlem Humanities Center

With the support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation

The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride

Nicholas Sparks Flick ‘The Longest Ride’ With Scott Eastwood & Britt Robertson

Photo of Kevin JagernauthBy Kevin Jagernauth | The PlaylistDecember 22, 2014 at 9:59PM

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The Longest Ride

“I cried at ‘The Notebook.’ If anybody said they didn’t cry in ‘The Notebook‘ they are just lying,” Scott Eastwood declared to ET. If you wept while watching the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Eastwood speaks of, then chances are you are the target demographic for “The Longest Ride.” And the first trailer is here.

Co-starring Eastwood and Britt Robertson and directed by George Tillman Jr. (“Notorious,” “Faster“), the movie tracks some intersecting storylines, first following a love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. Will the country boy and city bound gal make it? Well, good thing Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Cue tears, romance and hankies.

Alan Alda Talks ‘Longest Ride’ | TODAY

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 54 THE BEATLES (Part F, Sgt Pepper’s & Eastern Religion) (Feature on artist Richard Lindner )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

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