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"Learning" by Jean Charlot, Camp Rockmount, Black Mountain, North Carolina, from the series "Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America"

A work made of chromogenic print.

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  • A work made of chromogenic print.


April 2005


Joel Sternfeld
American, born 1944

About this artwork


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Joel Sternfeld


"Learning" by Jean Charlot, Camp Rockmount, Black Mountain, North Carolina, from the series "Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America"


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2005


Chromogenic print


No markings recto or verso Black Mountain College was an experiment in communal education. During its twenty-three-year history, from 1933 to 1956, small, informal classes and the spontaneous continuation of dialogue into the dining room and evening hours redefined boundaries between teacher and student. Black Mountain was a remarkable example of innovative higher education in its time. It didn’t have a traditional grading system—instead students were rigorously examined prior to certification. The organization and curriculum of the college were based on John Rice’s educational theories, which combined the liberal arts with the fine arts. It was the sixteen-year presence of Joseph Albers that was central to Black Mountain’s inordinate influence on modern art. Among his students were Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. Other distinguished teachers included John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Buckminster Fuller taught engineering and built the first large-scale geodesic dome there with his students. The mural “Learning” is one of two created by Jean Charlot in 1944 for the concrete pylons of the Walter Gropius-designed Studies Building. When Black Mountain College closed in 1956, it was sold to Camp Rockmount, a Christian boys’ camp. “Learning” and its sister mural “Inspiration” now enoble soccer and weightlifting equipment. From the portfolio, Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America, 1982–2005


Image: 26.1 × 33 cm (10 5/16 × 13 in.); Paper: 27.9 × 35.6 cm (11 × 14 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Ralph and Nancy Segall

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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