Sunday, June 24, 2012

Report from Asheville, June, 2012

The Asheville Art Museum specializes in American Art beginning in the 20th century. Their premier Art Fair is June 22 through 24, 2012.  

Peter Grippe, The City, 1943
Nearby, at Black Mountain College, 1933-1957, teachers included, Josef Albers, Peter Grippe, Fannie Hillsmith, and Ben Shahn.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Appalachian Trail, Asheville is the birthplace of Thomas Wolff, Roberta Flack, Zelda Fitzgerald, James Daugherty, and Elizabeth Blackwell, first recognized woman doctor in the US, and home to the Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino (innovator of the timbrel vaults used so effectively at the Manhattan Municipal Building).

Elizabeth Blackwell monument, Asheville
 The largest city in Western North Carolina, in what was the Cherokee Nation, Asheville is the site of the US National Climatic Data Center – the world’s largest active archive of weather data.

In the twentieth century Asheville endured a series of dramatic financial twists, including claim to the largest per-capita debt owed by any city in the nation at the time of the 1929 crash. Rather than default the city paid the debts off over a fifty-year period resulting in slow economic growth. An unanticipated consequence is an extensive range of Art Deco architecture. And the hot-dog vendors all have a vegetarian option.

S & W Cafeteria Building, Asheville Art Deco