Dancing in the Corn… Archives Week in Western North Carolina

Many of you already know but this week has been proclaimed to be NC Archives Week.  That means we really showcase our collections and advocate for archives and preserving the historical record beyond what we do the rest of the year.  This year, the theme is all about food culture in NC.  From farming to eating, we have documents and photos that capture it all.  In Western North Carolina, this year’s theme of “Home Grown! A Celebration of N.C. Food Culture and History” is being featured in a number of ways but none as interesting or exciting as Dr. David Silver’s work with the Black Mountain College Farm.

Josef Albers (left) hanging out in the cabbage patch

You may have heard about the college or some of its famous alumni and faculty but did you know those same folks were farming on the campus?  Can you imagine Josef Albers tending cabbage?  Or how about Merce Cunningham dancing in the corn fields?  Ok, so maybe we don’t have proof that  Cunningham was cutting a rug in the corn, but it could have happened!

Dr. Silver is an associate professor of media studies and environmental studies and coordinator of the urban agriculture minor at the University of San Francisco and is currently working on a multimedia history of the farm at Black Mountain College.  He has been using the collections at the Western Regional Archives and telling the food story of a college that normally is only looked at through artistic lenses.   Not only was he the first researcher at the WRA, he is a cheerleader for NC archives and continues to champion the collections we’ve preserved and direct scholars and students from around the world to NC!  Check out his blog http://silverinsf.blogspot.com/ or scope out the photos of his research journey and discoveries at flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidsilver/sets/

Who knows, you might just find out they were dancing in the corn!

Dorothy Cole eating in the dining hall at BMC


One thought on “Dancing in the Corn… Archives Week in Western North Carolina

  1. david silver

    Hey, thanks for highlighting my work on the farm at Black Mountain College!

    I believe I’ve been to the Western Regional Archives 5 times in the last 14 months and each time I’m amazed at the amount and diversity of stuff I find. It’s truly a goldmine, a real inspiration.

    Now if only we could find a photograph of Merce dancing in the corn …

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