Black Mountain College Seal and Bookplate
Text reads:
On the front of this leaflet we present our new seal and on the back our library bookplate. Since we are already in the middle of our second year, it is clear that we have not designed them in a hurry. Meanwhile we have tried to clarify differing opinions concerning this matter of a college emblem. As will be at once obvious, we have no inclination to play at being Greeks, Troubadours, or Victorians; for we consciously belong to the second third of the Twentieth Century. We are not enamoured of astrological, zoological, heraldic or cabalistic fashions. We have hunted neither the phoenix nor the unicorn, we have excavated no helmet and plume, nor have we tacked on learned mottoes. And for "Sapientia" or "Virtus" we are still too young. Instead, as a symbol of union, we have chosen simply a simple ring. It is an emphasized ring to emphasize coming together, standing together, working together. Or, it is one circle within another: color and white, light and shadow, in balance. And that no one may puzzle over cryptic monograms, we give our full address. Judgment of the esthetic qualities we leave to the competent; for unsure critics we cite a rather distinguished authority: "By beauty of shapes I do not mean, as most people would suppose, the beauty of living figures or of pictures, but, to make my point clear, I mean straight lines and circles, and shapes, plane or solid, made from them by lathe, ruler and square. These are not, like other things, beautiful relatively, but always, and absolutely." (Plato: Philebus 51 C)
March, 1935. JOSEF ALBERS.

Archival Object: 1998.7.6

Black Mountain College Seal and Bookplate

March 1935
Bifold leaflet, letterpress on paper.

Image: 13 x 13 inches
Frame: 27 1/2 x 21 inches
Josef Albers, Black Mountain College Seal and Bookplate, March 1935, reproduced 2013. Archival print from digital scan. Collection of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.