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List Rules People on this list must have gone to Black Mountain College and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Black Mountain College, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Black Mountain College include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Black Mountain College alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Black Mountain College are at the top of the list. This directory is not just composed of graduates of this school, as some of the famous people on this list didn't necessarily earn a degree from Black Mountain College.

Alumni include Arthur Penn, Robert Rauschenberg and more.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Black Mountain College?” and “Which celebrities are Black Mountain College alumni?”

1
Robert Rauschenberg is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Robert Rauschenberg Painter, Graphic Artist, Artist Robert Rauschenberg did not originally set out to become an artist. Born in Texas in the 1920s, Rauschenberg grew up in a fairly strict and frugal Christian household. As a teenager, he hoped to ...more

2
Kenneth Noland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Kenneth Noland Painter, Artist Kenneth Noland was an American abstract painter. He was one of the best-known American Color Field painters, although in the 1950s he was thought of as an abstract expressionist and in the early ...more

3
Robert De Niro, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Robert De Niro, Sr. Sculptor, Painter, Artist Robert Henry De Niro, better known as Robert De Niro, Sr. was an American abstract expressionist painter and the father of actor Robert De Niro.

4
John Wieners is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
John Wieners Poet, Writer John Joseph Wieners was an American poet.

5
Kenneth Snelson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Kenneth Snelson Sculptor, Artist, Photographer Kenneth Snelson is an American contemporary sculptor and photographer. His sculptural works are composed of flexible and rigid components arranged according to the idea of 'tensegrity'. Snelson ...more

6
Ray Johnson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Ray Johnson Artist Raymond Edward "Ray" Johnson, known primarily as a collagist and correspondence artist, was a seminal figure in the history of Neo-Dada and early Pop art. Once called "New York's ...more

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Harry Seidler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Harry Seidler Architect Harry Seidler, AC OBE was an Austrian-born Australian architect who is considered to be one of the leading exponents of Modernism's methodology in Australia and the first architect to fully ...more

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Robert Creeley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Robert Creeley Poet, Author, Writer Robert Creeley was an American poet and author of more than sixty books. He is usually associated with the Black Mountain poets, though his verse aesthetic diverged from that school's. He was ...more

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Cy Twombly is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Cy Twombly Painter, Artist Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly, Jr. was an American painter of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. ...more

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Edward Dorn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Edward Dorn Poet, Writer Edward Merton Dorn was an American poet and teacher often associated with the Black Mountain poets. His most famous work is Gunslinger.

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John Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
John Chamberlain Artist John Angus Chamberlain was an American sculptor. At the time of his death he resided and worked on Shelter Island, New York.

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Francine du Plessix Gray is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Francine du Plessix Gray Literary critic, Author, Writer Francine du Plessix Gray is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and literary critic.

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Arthur Penn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Arthur Penn Television director, Theatre Director, Television producer Arthur Hiller Penn was an American director and producer of film, television and theater. Penn directed critically acclaimed films throughout the 1960s such as the drama The Chase, the ...more

14
Michael Rumaker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Michael Rumaker Novelist, Writer Michael Rumaker is an American author best known for his semi-autobiographical novels that document his life as a gay man in the 1950s and after. Rumaker graduated from Black Mountain College in ...more

15
Robert Duncan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Robert Duncan Poet, Author, Essayist Robert Duncan was an American poet and a devotee of H.D. and the Western esoteric tradition who spent most of his career in and around San Francisco. Though associated with any number of ...more

16
Susan Weil is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Susan Weil Artist Susan Weil is an American artist best known for her experimental three-dimensional paintings, which combine figurative illustration with explorations of movement and space. Weil was born in New ...more

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Vera Williams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Vera Williams Illustrator, Writer Vera B. Williams is an American children's writer and illustrator. Her best known work, A Chair for My Mother, has won multiple awards and was featured on the children's television show Reading ...more

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Irwin Kremen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Irwin Kremen Psychologist, Artist Irwin Kremen is an American artist who at 41 began making art while Director of the Duke University Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology, after earning a Ph.D. six years earlier in clinical ...more

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Charles Perrow is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Charles Perrow Charles B. Perrow is an emeritus professor of sociology at Yale University and visiting professor at Stanford University. He is the author of several books and many articles on organizations, ...more

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Dorothea Rockburne is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Dorothea Rockburne Artist Dorothea Rockburne is an abstract painter drawing inspiration primarily from her deep interest in mathematics and astronomy. Rockburne's attraction to Mannerism has also influenced her work. In ...more

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Fielding Dawson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Fielding Dawson Novelist, Writer Fielding Dawson was a Beat-era author of short stories and novels, and a student at Black Mountain College. He was also a painter and collagist whose works were seen in several books of poetry ...more

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James Leo Herlihy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
James Leo Herlihy Novelist, Writer, Playwright James Leo Herlihy was an American novelist, playwright and actor. Herlihy is known for his novels Midnight Cowboy and All Fall Down, and his play Blue Denim, all of which were adapted for ...more

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Jonathan Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Jonathan Williams Jonathan Williams was an American poet, publisher, essayist, and photographer. He is known as the founder of The Jargon Society, which has published poetry, experimental fiction, photography, ...more

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Erik Christian Haugaard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Erik Christian Haugaard Author Erik Christian Haugaard was a Danish-born American writer, best known for children's books and for his translations of the works of Hans Christian Andersen.

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Joel Oppenheimer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Joel Oppenheimer Joel Lester Oppenheimer was an American poet associated with both the Black Mountain poets and the New York School. He was the first director of the St. Marks Poetry Project. Though a poet, ...more

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Stephen De Staebler is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Stephen De Staebler Stephen De Staebler was an internationally celebrated American sculptor, best recognized for his work in clay and bronze. Totemic and fragmented in form, De Staebler's figurative sculptures call ...more

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Jane Mayhall is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Jane Mayhall Jane Mayhall Katz was an American poet whose writing first received attention later in life, and was influenced by her transition from her youth in Kentucky to the hustle and bustle of life in ...more

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Ruth Asawa is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Ruth Asawa Sculptor Ruth Asawa was a American sculptor. Known in San Francisco as the "fountain lady", her work is included in prominent art collections such as those of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum ...more

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Stan Vanderbeek is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Stan Vanderbeek Film Director Stan Vanderbeek was an American experimental filmmaker.

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Pat Passlof is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Pat Passlof Pat Passlof was an American abstract expressionist painter. After studying with Willem de Kooning at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Passlof received a bachelor’s degree from The ...more

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Harrison Begay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Harrison Begay Harrison Begay was a renowned Navajo painter, perhaps the most famous of his generation. Begay specialized in watercolors and silkscreen prints. He was the last living former student of Dorothy ...more

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Judd Woldin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Black Mountain College Alumni
Judd Woldin Pianist, Composer Edwin Judd Woldin was an American composer, most notable for his musical Raisin.