Charles "Don" Page

Photograph included with student application. Courtesy of Western Regional Archives.

Don Page in weaving class. Courtesy of Western Regional Archives.


Art/ Design/ Craft


Student, Guest Faculty


1936 - 1942



Denver, CO



Sarasota, FL

Don Page was a student at the college from 1936 to 1942. He was listed as apprentice teacher in fall 1940 and assistant instructor in fall 1941 to spring 1942 in weaving.

Memorial article in Vineyard Gazette by Phyllis Meras, June 7, 2007

Don Page, architect, graphic and interior designer, weaver, orchid aficionado, connoisseur of art, music, food and wine, consummate gentleman, and a Chilmark resident for more than 30 years, died in Sarasota, Fla., on Monday after a brief illness, his longtime friend, Tony Iannacone, reported. He was 89.

The elegantly simple modern houses he designed, integrating outdoors with indoors, are found on many an up-Island overlook or nestled in up-Island woods, as well as on New York's Long Island and Fire Island and in upstate New York. For a decade, he was an associate with the I.M. Pei & Partners architectural firm of New York city.

Early Life

He was born Charles Donald Page in Denver, Colo., on Sept. 14, 1917, a son of the late Frank Burton and Claudia (Spillman) Page. He attended Denver public schools and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a progressive liberal arts school whose enrollment - by choice-never exceeded 100 students, and whose faculty, in Don Page's day, included painter Josef Albers and his wife Ani, a renowned weaver and textile designer, both of whom had trained at Germany's Bauhaus.

Young Don Page thrived on the intellectual and artistic riches available to him at Black Mountain. He became a student teacher of weaving, learned about art, architecture, theatre, ballet and music - all of which were to remain lifelong passions. At the time he attended, the campus was expanding and students were assisting in the construction of new buildings. It was doing this work that his interest in architecture was kindled. And there he learned the architectural model-making that became one of his fortes.

At Black Mountain

At Black Mountain, too, he met Ted and Barbara Loines Dreir, who were among the college founders, and Alexander S. Reed, a fellow student. The Loines family in 1907 had been among the first dwellers at Seven Gates Farm in West Tisbury and in time, the Dreiers influenced young Reed to build a Seven Gates house near them. It was these three who would eventually lead Don Page to the Vineyard.

But World War II interrupted his educational plans and in 1942, after graduation from college and before graduate school, he joined the Air Force as an intelligence officer and was stationed in China and Burma. When he was discharged in 1945, he was a captain, but later as a reservist he attained the rank of major.

At Harvard

In 1946, he enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he received his master's degree in architecture in 1948. There he studied under architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breur, who, like the Alberses, had come to America from the Bauhaus where visual arts and architecture were considered as related activities and no division was seen between structural and decorative arts. Throughout his life in architecture and design, Don Page followed these precepts.


Briefly after obtaining his master's degree, Mr. Page worked for a Colorado architectural company, before in 1951 joining I.M. Pei, where he became the head of the graphics department. He remained with the firm until 1966, though he had his own Page Graphics division of it from 1961 to 1966. It then became Page, Arbitrio & Resen Ltd.; he was president from 1966 until his retirement in 1983.


In the early 1960s, Don Page began visiting the Vineyard and rented a camp near the Home Port in Menemsha while he looked for land on which to build a house of his own. With the help of David Flanders, he soon found it, abutting the James Cagney property off the North Road.

"There were two adjoining parcels he looked at," his longtime partner Ken Resen remembers. "One was a 50-acre piece; the other 38 acres. He found a site on a ridge on the 38-acre parcel that, in those days, would afford a view of the Elizabeth Islands, and that was where he bought and built."

With an eye to what he wanted the landscape around his house to look like, he first planted more than 100 cryptomeria trees on the site, and studded his woods with bright rhododendrons. That done, he began designing the gracious one-story house that would be his summer home until his retirement, and his year-round home well into the 1990s. He made sure, since he had studied cooking in New York, and enjoyed it, that his kitchen was practically as well as artistically designed and that there was an outdoor courtyard for summer entertaining.

Long fond of orchids, he had a greenhouse built for his collection and before long was off on expeditions to collect more of them - in New Guinea, Peru and Guatemala. He even obtained a commercial importer's license so he could bring his plants back into the United States. As he did with other prized possessions, when he left the Vineyard, he offered his precious orchids to his friends.

Travels in his later years also took him back to Italy, where he had studied as a young man, to England and France to see friends, art and architecture, and to Ecuador's Galapagos Islands to see the wildlife.

But most of the time he remained on the Island, except for making occasional forays to New York to attend art and theatre events. On the Vineyard, he entertained and was entertained by his many friends. He spent Christmas Eve, for years, at the Stonewall Beach home of Margaret and the late Nicholas Freydberg, where fellow diners were Yvette Eastman of Aquinnah and the late Henry Beetle Hough and Edith Blake of Edgartown. Thanksgiving Day was generally spent with the Ray Kellmans in Chilmark. On summer Sundays, he was the most serious of boule players on the lawn at Yvette Eastman's. He was a devoted movie-goer and often he and friends would enjoy a supper at Louis's in Vineyard Haven before heading for a film at the Capawock. And, of course, all the while he was also happily designing houses and additions.

Among Island homes that he built were the Chilmark residences of the Allan Keiths, of Alida and the late Robert Stange, of the late Richard Hess and of the Kellmans, and the Chilmark guest house of Alex Preston. When the Hess house, Hawkswney, that he had designed in 1978, was purchased by Edward Miller and Monina von Opel in 1998, he assisted in updating it.

He designed additions for the late Nan Werner at Menemsha, for Yvette Eastman above Squibnocket Pond, for Ralph and Eleanor Graves on the Middle Road and for the late George Moffett in Edgartown. When Washington Post publisher the late Katharine Graham purchased Mohu, the historic West Tisbury estate of Sen. William H. Butler, Don Page refashioned it for her. After fire demolished the West Tisbury home of author Arthur T. Hadley, Mr. Page remodeled in its stead a house for Mr. Hadley and his wife Jane in Spencertown, N.Y.

Invariably, his intelligence, charm and generosity made him fast friends with those for whom he was designing.

In the mid-1990s, however, he began to be tempted away from chilly Island winters by the warmth of Florida. He rented one winter season in Sarasota where he thought he would find the intellectual and artistic life appealing. He did, and returned to the Island to sell his North Road home and take up permanent Sarasota residence. There, he attended and gave his support to, among others, the Ringling Museum of Art and the Van Wegel Theatre.

Although once he moved, he never returned to the Island, he enthusiastically received the gifts of homemade Vineyard beach plum, Russian olive and rose hip jelly that Monina von Opel would take him on visits and he kept in close telephone communication with old Island friends. Vineyarders who stopped in to see him in Sarasota were always greeted with delight and Vineyarders who had made Sarasota a winter base were certain to be part of his coterie.


During his long career, Mr. Page was honored with many awards: a Fulbright Grant to Italy, a Type Directors Club award, a Financial World Magazine award, an American Institute of Graphic Arts award and awards from the Museum of Modern Art and the Publishing Industries of Metropolitan New York.

He was a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Junior Council of the Museum of Modern art from 1952 to 1970, the Design & Acquisitions Committee of the Museum of Modern Art from 1968 to 1992, the Amateur Comedy Club of New York, the Harvard Club of New York, the Century Association of New York and the University Club of Sarasota.

His work has been published in Progressive Architecture, Better homes and Gardens, The New York Times Magazine, Industrial Design, Interiors, the Arts of Black Mountain College and Bauhaus Textiles. His weavings from his Black Mountain days are in the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, N.C.

Island friends remember him for his hospitality, his gentlemanliness and generosity (a devotee of fine red wine, he was likely to present a case of what he thought the best to friends at holiday time). They remember him for his mellow and reassuring voice and his enthusiasm for his artistic and intellectual projects.

Clients praise his fine architectural and designing eye. Longtime friend and colleague architect I.M. Pei praised him as a man of many skills, "but an architect first of all."

Mr. Page was predeceased by a brother, Franklin Burton Page, and a sister, Claudia Gertrude Goold. He is survived by a niece Leslie Sue Lopez and her husband, Adolph Peter Lopez, and a great-nephew, Jeremiah Peter Lopez.

Courses Taken

Fall 1936-1937: Biology with Moellenhoff, Creative Writing with Wunsch, Drawing I with J. Albers, Weaving Theory I with A. Albers, Weaving Practice I with A.Albers, Werklehre with J. Albers, Dramatics I with Wunsch.

Spring 1936-1937: Weaving Theory and Practice with A. Albers, Drawing Iwith J. Albers, Introductory Biology with Moellenhoff, Werklehre with J. Albers, Dramatics I with Wunsch.

Fall 1937-1938:Weaving Theory and Practice with A. Albers, Werklehre with J. Albers, Introductory Psychology with Moellenhoff, Color I and Drawing II with Albers, Stage Studies with Schawinsky, Dressmaking with I. Schawinsky.

Spring 1937-1938: Weaving Theory and Practice with A. Albers, DrawingII, Color I, and Werklehre with J. Albers, Introductory Psychology with Moellenhoff, Stage Studies with Schawinsky, Dress making with I. Schawinsky.

Fall 1938-1939: Music Appreciation I with Evarts, Calculus with Dreier, Plato I with Rice, Color II with Albers, Folk Dancing with Sly, Advanced Weaving withA. Albers, Dramatics II with Wunsch

Spring 1938-1939:Advanced Weaving with A. Albers, Calculus with Dreier, Music Appreciation I with Evarts, Plato II with Rice, Color II with J. Albers, MusicSeminar with Surrette, Folk Dancing with Sly, English/Grammar Composition with HildaBailey.

Fall 1939-1940: Advanced Weaving with A. Albers, Werklehre with J.Albers, Music II with Evarts, English Tutorial with Thurman, Spanish Tutorial.

Spring 1939-1940: Advanced Weaving with A. Albers, Werklehre with J.Albers, Music II with Evarts, Play Production with Wunsch, Chorus with Jalowetz.

Fall 1940-1941: Contemporary Architecture and Contemporary Architecture Drawing with Kocher, Music III and Chorus with Jalowetz, Weaving (Study on own),Teaching Introductory Weaving.

Spring 1940-1941: Contemporary Architecture and Contemporary Architecture Drawing with Kocher, Werklehre with Reed, Chorus with Jalowetz, Advanced Weaving with A. Albers, and Color with Reed.

Graduated June 1941-came back next fall and spring for post graduate work

Fall 1941-1942: Contemporary Architecture II with Kocher

Spring 1941-1942: Intermediate Design with Kocher, and Structures with Dearstyne

Student (possibly Don Page) reading on the Blue Ridge campusDon Page in weaving studio.the danse macabre: A Sociological Study, Saturday, May 14, 1938Program Drama Bury the Dead, 1938Students Don Page and Tommy Brooks working on the grounds of the Studies BuildingWeaving Class, at the looms.Potted Plant by Don PageOrange Fabric with Changed Threads, Don PageDon Page participating in the Work ProgramDon Page Loom Warps.Don Page's Study.

Help us uphold the legacy of Black Mountain College by supporting our yearbook project by donating today. Every donation fuels our efforts to expand our digital archive and enhance the accessibility of this invaluable resource.

To contribute research, photos, or to ask questions about our project, email

© 2024 Black Mountain College Yearbook. Created by Amanda Hartman and Robert Martin. All rights reserved.