Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Adams, W. Howard
W. Howard Adams Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Collection consists of miscellaneous material relating 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.

Collection Description & Creator Information


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.

Collection Creator Biography:

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.

Collection History


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


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

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.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

W. Howard Adams Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1