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SCHOOL OF THOUGHT: Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957

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The Works

891 South Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34236

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The story of Black Mountain College begins in 1933 and comprises a fascinating chapter in the history of education and the 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. The events that precipitated the college’s founding occurred simultaneously with the rise of the Nazi Regime, the closing of the Bauhaus school in Germany, and the beginning of the persecution of artists and intellectuals in Europe. Some of these refugees found their way to Black Mountain, either as students or faculty. Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. These individuals include: Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, Cy Twombly, Franz Kline, Buckminster Fuller, Dorothea Rockburne and many others who have impacted the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to echo.

Join Ruth Erickson, co-curator of Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957, as she discusses the first major exhibition focusing on this unique moment of educational and artistic experimentation in Asheville, North Carolina.

Ruth Erickson is Mannion Family Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Her exhibitions at the ICA include "Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist," "Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian: The Birthday Party," and "Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957" (with Helen Molesworth). She has forthcoming exhibitions with Wangechi Mutu and Kevin Beasley. Erickson was previously a curator at the BCA Center, Burlington, VT. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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The Works

891 South Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34236

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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