Havens | Black Mountain, N.C.
A Cultured Retreat in the Shadow of the Seven Sisters
By CHRIS DIXON, Published: August 3, 2007
IN 1933, a radical arts academy opened in a remote valley about 15 miles east of Asheville, N.C. Simply called Black Mountain College, after the town where it was built, the school was founded by John A. Rice, a maverick educator who sought to create a sort of paradise for painting, architecture, sculpture and the liberal arts in the heart of Depression-era Appalachia.
The college’s board of directors included Albert Einstein and the poet William Carlos Williams, while professors included painters, like Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and the visionary designer Buckminster Fuller. The college closed in 1957, but in its time, it gave Black Mountain a per capita level of cultural significance as great as that of any other town in the United States.