The Farm at Black Mountain College

BY David Silver

The Farm at Black Mountain College

BY David Silver

$35.00

*NOW IN PREORDER*
Releasing in September

Black Mountain College (BMC) was a wellspring of 20th-century creative unorthodoxy. From its founding in 1933 and over its 23 year history, the small liberal arts school in rural North Carolina attracted a jaw-dropping list of famous and soon-to-be famous artists, writers, and visionaries including Anni and Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Ray Johnson, Charles Olson, and M. C. Richards. The exploits of these BMC cultural luminaries have been recounted time and time again. This book is different. Through deep original research, The Farm at Black Mountain College follows renegade students, faculty, and farmers as they establish a campus farm in the 1930s, build a better farm in the 1940s, and watch it all collapse in the 1950s. We meet a new cast of BMC characters whose stories have seldom, if ever been explored, and whose adventures in agriculture shine a blazing light on what exactly happened at BMC across the decades; from optimistic community building to its plunge into substance-addled scarcity. The farm was vital to BMC. Throughout the Depression and World War II it provided vital sustenance, while serving as a testing ground for self-sufficiency, communal living, and collaboration—the most precious and precarious ingredient at the college. In these engrossing pages, we encounter the extraordinary folk whose endeavors on the land helped shape the Black Mountain College of myth and extraordinary reality.

David Silver is professor and chair of environmental studies at the University of San Francisco. He teaches classes on urban agriculture, hyperlocal food systems, and food, culture, and storytelling.

Co Published with Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center

Related exhibition Curated by David Silver and Bruce Johansen, The Farm at Black Mountain College, will be on view at Black Mountain college Museum + Art Center from September 2024 through January 2025.


First Edition
7 inches x 9.25 inches
224 pages 
Printed sustainably in Spain
ISBN # 978-1-9549571-1-4