This volume of The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies celebrates 50 years since the publication of Ray Johnson’s 1965 collection of images and text, The Paper Snake, and follows an exhibition at The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, “SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY: Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins and the Making of The Paper Snake.”
With rare audio, video, collages, photographs, correspondence, and, of course, the recently rediscovered production materials for The Paper Snake, “SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY” offered seldom seen (and in some cases never before seen) material connected to Ray Johnson’s early New York period.
This project would never have been possible without the dedication and commitment of exhibition curator and guest editor Michael von Uchtrup. We are also grateful for the extraordinary support for this project shown by William S. Wilson, scholar, author, and friend of Ray. It wouldn’t have happened without his blessing. We wish to extend our deep appreciation to The Ray Johnson Estate, Frances Beatty, Rachel Graham, and Diana Bowers at Richard L. Feigen & Co. for their gift of time and resources. Thanks also to Julie J. Thomson, who was helpful at every turn, designing the exhibition program booklet and participating with Michael von Uchtrup in “Snakes Escape,” a public discussion moderated by Brian Butler. Additional and enthusiastic thanks to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center staff Erin Dickey and Sarah Bonner and board members Brian E. Butler and Connie Bostic.