Black Mountain College Logo & Statement
Courtesy of the Theodore Dreier Sr. Document Collection, Asheville Art Museum
Printed paper pamphlet folded from a larger single sheet. Purple ink on off-white paper. Interior text by Josef Albers introduces and describes the Black Mountain College seal design. Front cover is a deep purple with a white circular seal logo, Black Mountain College Black Mountain N.C. is written around the seal.
Written in the booklet, "On the front of this leaflet we present our new seal and on the back our library bookplate.
Since we are now in the middle of our second year, it is clear that we have not designed them in a hurry. Meanwhile we have tried to clarify differing opinions concerning this matter of a college emblem.
As will be at once obvious we have no inclination to play at being Greeks, Troubadours, Victorians; for we consciously belong to the second third of the Twentieth Century. We are not enamored astrological, zoological, heraldic or cabalistic fashions. We have hunted neither the phoenix nor the unicorn, we have dug up no helmet and plume, nor have we tacked on learned mottoes. And for 'Sapientia' or 'Virtus' we are still too young.
Instead, as a symbol of union, we have chosen a simple ring. It is an emphasized ring to emphasize coming together, standing together, working together. Or, it is one circle within another: color and white, light and shadow, in balance. And that no one may puzzle over cryptic monograms, we give our full address.
Judgement of the esthetic qualities we leave to the competent: for unsure critics we cite a rather distinguished authority: 'By beauty of shapes I do not mean, as most people would suppose, the beauty of living figures or of pictures, but, to make my point clear, I mean straight lines and circles, and shapes, plane or solid, made from them by lather, ruler and square. These are not, like other things, beautiful relativity, but always, and absolutely.' (Plato: Philebus 51 C)"
March 1935. Josef Albers
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