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Kenneth Noland and Abstract Art

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 06:30

Noland painting in 1968. Image from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

On April 10, 1924, abstract artist Kenneth Noland was born in Asheville. Noland devoted much of his career to the artistic genre of color field abstraction. He studied and painted the interaction of contrasting and complementing colors. His most famous paintings feature a circle or chevron pattern that contains a distinct array of colors.

After a four-year stint in the Air Force, Nolan enrolled at Black Mountain College, not far from his hometown. The experimental liberal arts college challenged students to learn through their own creative approach. During his time at Black Mountain College, Noland learned Professor Josef Albers’ color theory and was greatly influenced by geometric abstractionist Ilya Bolotowsky. From Black Mountain, he went on to Paris to study artist Ossip Zadkins in 1949 before returning to the United States and teaching in Washington, D.C. and New York for the remainder of his career.

Noland’s work has been shown around the world. It has been said of Noland he was “one of the great colorists of the 20th century,” and that, “he invented a n

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ew kind of American abstraction based on the primacy of color.”


Latecomer Strikes Gold at Reed, 1896

This Day in North Carolina History - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 06:30

The nugget found in April 1896. Image from UNC-Charlotte.

On April 9, 1896, the last large gold nugget was found at Reed Gold Mine, the focal point of the nation’s first gold rush. The discovery came 97 years after John Reed first found a large nugget on his land.

Gold from the Reed property realized more than $2 million in sales by 1824. By the late 1800s, the mine had been mostly exhausted, and the prospectors who worked it had departed for other places like Colorado, Alaska and California.

Jake Shinn, though, hadn’t lost hope. On April 9, Shinn struck something hard only three feet underground. He ran off to clean what he had hit and see what he found, ignored by the fellow miners around him who were used to many false alarms. When he returned, it was clear that he was holding a 22-pound gold nugget. He eventually sold the nugget for around $4,800, which would be more than $100,000 today.

Mining at Reed continued to dwindle until the last operation closed in 1964. The property was acquired by the state in 1971 and opened as a state historic site in 1977.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


Latecomer Strikes Gold at Reed, 1896

This Day in North Carolina History - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 06:30

The nugget found in April 1896. Image from UNC-Charlotte.

On April 9, 1896, the last large gold nugget was found at Reed Gold Mine, the focal point of the nation’s first gold rush. The discovery came 97 years after John Reed first found a large nugget on his land.

Gold from the Reed property realized more than $2 million in sales by 1824. By the late 1800s, the mine had been mostly exhausted, and the prospectors who worked it had departed for other places like Colorado, Alaska and California.

Jake Shinn, though, hadn’t lost hope. On April 9, Shinn struck something hard only three feet underground. He ran off to clean what he had hit and see what he found, ignored by the fellow miners around him who were used to many false alarms. When he returned, it was clear that he was holding a 22-pound gold nugget. He eventually sold the nugget for around $4,800, which would be more than $100,000 today.

Mining at Reed continued to dwindle until the last operation closed in 1964. The property was acquired by the state in 1971 and opened as a state historic site in 1977.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


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