Interview with Claude Stoller

Claude Stoller studied at Black Mountain College from 1939 to 1943. He attended Josef Albers basic courses in design, drawing and color, as well as architectural courses with Lawrence Kocher, Howard Dearstyne, and Lou Bernard Voight. Together with Charles Forberg, he constructed a small house designed by Lawrence Kocher for Heinrich, Johanna and Lisa Jalowetz. Drafted to the United States Army, he left Black Mountain College in 1942. In February 1946 he enrolled at Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he compensated his deficit of technical skills with his knowledge in physics and his practical construction experiences gained at Black Mountain College. After graduating in 1949 he worked as an architect, forming Marquis & Stoller Architects in 1956 in San Francisco and Stoller/Partners (later Stoller Knoerr Architects) in 1978 in Berkeley. From 1957 until 1991 he was teaching at the Department of Architecture at the University of California. Stoller is now living with his second wife and BMC alumni Rosemary Raymond Stoller in Berkeley and Maine. In the interview he talks about the work camp at Black Mountain College and recalls how Josef Albers altered his way of seeing.



These videos by Sigrid Pawelke are part of a long-term research project on the early performances at Black Mountain College foreshadowing the first happening by John Cage in 1952. Sigrid Pawelke is Professor for performance and art history at the School of Visual Arts in Aix-en-Provence and the author of «Influences of the Bauhaus stage in the USA» (Roderer Verlag 2005). She interviewed 16 former BMC students including the choreographers Anna Halprin and Yvonne Rainer. The research and the videos lead eventually to reenactments and a better understanding of the links between the Bauhaus and the performative experiments at Black Mountain College.