Knoxville Museum of Art Presents A Lasting Imprint: Rendering Rhythm and Motion in the Art of Black Mountain College

February 1, 2021

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents A Lasting Imprint: Rendering Rhythm and Motion in the Art of Black Mountain College now through May 2, 2021.  More than 50 prints, textiles, drawings, paintings and sculptures drawn from the extensive holdings of the Asheville Art Museum document a particularly rich and creative moment of radical experimentation with ways to integrate music, movement, and the visual arts.  The exhibition includes work by the most adventurous and influential artists associated with Black Mountain College including Josef and Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Ilya Bolotowsky, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Lorna Blaine Halper, Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Marianne Preger-Simon, and Kenneth Snelson.

Black Mountain College, an experimental school in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, was active from 1933 to 1957.  The secluded environment fostered a strong sense of individuality, inter-disciplinary experimentation, and creative intensity, and served as a key setting in which artists revolutionized a broad range of modern art forms.  Movement and music—both time-based activities—can be difficult to express in static media such as painting, drawing, and photography, yet many artists feel called to explore them. Movement serves as inspiration—either to capture it or to create it in entirely different media. Similarly, music is driven by rhythm, patterns, and variations that are enticing departures for visual artists. In few places did movement, music, visual arts, and myriad other disciplines intermingle with such impact as they did at Black Mountain College, which profoundly influenced the course of American modernism.

A Lasting Imprint is organized by the Asheville Art Museum (AAM), Asheville, North Carolina and features key works from the museum’s Black Mountain College Collection. The AAM has been collecting works of art and materials related to Black Mountain College for over 25 years in recognition of the college’s importance to Western North Carolina and to the development of American art.  In addition to collecting works produced by key BMC artists during the years the school was active, the AAM also seeks to acquire works by those artists from other periods in order to represent a broad spectrum of their development. The Museum has been fortunate to continually grow its Black Mountain College Collection through gifts from students, faculty, and their families and strategic Museum purchases. Noted scholar and author Mary Emma Harris of the Black Mountain College Project provided essential guidance to the development of the Asheville Art Museum’s Black Mountain College Collection.

Presenting sponsor is The Guild of the KMA

Editor’s Note: Image attached. Caption is as follows:
Josef Albers, Formulation: Articultion Foliol, Folder 14, 1972. Screenprint on paper, 15 x 40 inches, Black Mountain College Collection Gift of Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

The Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday 1-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact David Butler at or visit