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Robert Rauschenberg, Ace (from the Rumination Series), 1999, 30 ½ × 45 ¾ inches. Black Mountain College Collection, Asheville Art Museum. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and ULAE / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Published by Universal Limited Art Editions.

Image Gallery

Black Mountain College Virtual Symposium

Wednesday, January 31, 2024
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Free Virtual Event

In 2019, the Asheville Art Museum was awarded a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). This multi-year project enabled the digital creation of artwork’s from the Museum’s Black Mountain College (BMC) Collection with focus on archival documents from the Theodore Dreier Documents and the 2012 BMC Project gift. The catalog records—images, transcriptions, dimensions, descriptions, etc.—of these objects are searchable through the Online Collection Database.

The other significant goal of this project was to establish a Timeline for interconnected content from resources, institutions/organizations, and scholars with focus on BMC. The Timeline acts as a starting place for the dissemination of the locations for the content. Anyone can use the Timeline to learn about short summaries of events, peoples, and other for the years of the College. Interested parties would then be able to search within the website to find content links to other relevant BMC materials such as digital exhibitions, peer-reviewed scholarly articles/ journals/ essays, books, objects, and more. The Timeline is a hub for the interconnecting of all materials relevant to increasing the study and awareness of BMC across the world.


Join the Symposium—Zoom Link

Zoom >>> Meeting ID: 859 5314 1922 | Passcode: 704217


Hilary Schroeder, BMC project scholar, will discuss the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) project. Followed by a five minute Q&A.

Corey Loftus, BMC grad student, will discuss the initial stages of digitizing the collection and maintaining best practiced for metadata. Followed by a five minute Q&A.

Jordan Wolfe, BMC undergrad intern, will discuss Minds, Bodies, and Spirits digital exhibition. Followed by a five minute Q&A.


Hilary Schroeder is the Life Transitions and Special Programs manager at OLLI at UNC Asheville. She received her BA in Art History with a minor in German Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN in 2012 and her MA in Art History from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA in 2015, where her research focused on the intersection of 20th and 21st century art history and modern dance. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science with a focus on special collections and archives at UNC Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. Hilary has previously worked in service to continuing education for all ages in the museum field as a curatorial fellow at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, TX, and as assistant curator at the Asheville Art Museum in Asheville, NC. Her professional interests include Black Mountain College, interdisciplinary and performance art, and postmodernism. Outside of work, Hilary maintains a personal practice in dance and aerial arts, is an avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, and intermittently plays Dungeons & Dragons online with friends spread across the country.

Involvement in the project: From early drafts of the grant application through managing digitization activities and the development of physical and digital exhibitions, the implementation of the CLIR-funded Digital Black Mountain College Collection and Interconnective Timeline project presented opportunities to widen the reach of this collection and for the Asheville Art Museum to expand its own understandings of digitization, display, and access. This presentation takes a bird’s eye view into the various activities and dedicated contributors necessary to undertake and achieve the processing and sharing of the unique materials related to Black Mountain College held at the Asheville Art Museum.


Corey Loftus is a PhD student in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She received her BA in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and her MA in the same subject at Tufts University. In Fall 2021, she was a graduate fellow at the Asheville Art Museum. Black Mountain College has long been a topic of her research and Loftus is currently working on an article focused on Hazel Larsen Archer’s photography and pedagogy at the college. In addition to her work on Black Mountain, Loftus’s developing dissertation work focuses on Surrealist art through the image and use of the body in artmaking practices.

Involvement in Project: Corey Loftus contributed to this large project as a graduate curatorial fellow in Fall 2021 funded by the grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize the Black Mountain College collection. In her role as a fellow, she assisted with the cataloguing, photographing, and interpretation of the archival documents from the BMC collection. It was a dream to spend time with one of the most impressive Black Mountain College collections in the country. Spending time in the archive also inspired Loftus to think critically about the relationship between the students and faculty at BMC in connection with place and setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Loftus also curated a spotlight exhibition focused on this idea titled, Learning from the Landscape: Art, Education, and Nature at Black Mountain College.


Jordan Wolfe is a Postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh who studies modern and contemporary art engaged in political resistance, environmental conservation, and human rights advocacy. She currently researches arts collectives involved in land occupation and social documentary, creative investigative practices which contribute to political resistance of environmental destruction. Wolfe is an avid scuba diver and surfer with a commitment to marine conservation as well as a record collector interested in global countercultural music of the 1960–70s. Her 2022 internship with the Asheville Art Museum culminated in the art exhibition and audio companion, Minds Bodies, and Spirits: Black Mountain College and the Beats of the North Beach Scene 1953–1960.

Exhibition Description: Minds, Bodies, and Spirits: Black Mountain College and the Beats of the North Beach Scene 1953-1960 traces the material links between BMC and San Francisco through music, poetry, artist interviews, documents, photographs, and artworks in the Asheville Art Museum collection. The exhibition includes an audio companion of relevant poetry and jazz of the era, an homage to the countless arts performances in BMC alumnae-run bars and galleries. With centrepieces like Krikorian’s The Place, Paul Alexander’s Buzz Gallery, and Robert Duncan’s The Black Mountain Review, Minds, Bodies, and Spirits is a kaleidoscopic story of BMC alumnae who transplanted the school’s ideals of community and experimentation to the increasingly radical art and poetry scenes of San Francisco.


Join the Symposium—Zoom Link

Zoom >>> Meeting ID: 859 5314 1922 | Passcode: 704217

Asheville Art Museum