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W. Howard Adams Collection


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Adams, W. Howard

Author and educator William Howard Adams was chairman of the Missouri Council of the Arts. He was appointed associate director of the Arts Council of America on January 1, 1965.

Black Mountain College was established in 1933 as an independent, coeducational, four-year college and originally was located near Black Mountain, N.C. It was created as an experiment of "education in a democracy," with the idea that the creative arts and practical responsibilities are equal in importance to the development of the intellect. The college attracted many students and faculty who were or went on to become influential. Although notable even during its short life, the school closed after only twenty-four years in 1957. Its teachers and students include its founder John Rice, writer Charles Olson, composer John Cage, architect Buckminster Fuller, dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, poet Robert Creeley, painters Jacob Lawrence, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Rauschenberg, and the potter and poet M. C. Richards.

Penland School of Crafts is located in Penland, North Carolina, and was founded as a national center for craft education. It was established by Lucy Morgan who decided to revive hand-weaving. Morgan had organized the Penland Weavers and Potters craft group, and was eventually able to establish a working craft school.

This collection consists of proposals, articles, and correspondence and other material related to Black Mountain College and the Penland School of Arts and Crafts, collected by Adams during his tenure as associate director of The Arts Council of America. Included is correspondence of Adams with the American historian and playwright Martin Duberman, Gordon McAndrew of The Learning Institute of North America, and Norman Lloyd of the Rockefeller Foundation. In addition, there is correspondence of Adams and the poet M. C. Richards with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Penland School of Crafts regarding a proposal to establish a summer program for teaching teenagers arts and craft. Also included are typescript essays by Martin Duberman (one about Black Mountain College), proposals of Mary Caroline Richard to the Guggenheim Foundation regarding studies about the College, and a partial list of artists associated with Black Mountain College.

Gift of W. Howard Adams on September 22, 1986.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on June 29, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey on June 29, 2009. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

20 letters from Mary Caroline Richards to W. Howard Adams concerning Black Mountain College, 1965-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Proposals: 2 Letters between Mary Caroline Richards and the Guggenheim Foundation, plan submitted in application for a fellowship, 1963 June-October. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2 Typescript Essays by Martin Duberman about Black Mountain College, list of artists associated with the college, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2 advertisement posters for Penland School Summer Program, "1966 summer session", 1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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