Ruth "Peggy" Barton

Photograph included with student application. Courtesy of Western Regional Archives

Courtesy of Western Regional Archives


General Studies




1935 - 1938



Boston, MA



Ruth Barton was a student at the college from the fall of 1935 to the spring of 1938 and served as a Student Officer. She married fellow BMC student, Nathaniel Stowers French. She played the flute during the danse macabre performance in 1938.

She grew up in Chestnut Hill outside Boston where she attended the progressive Beaver Country Day School and later Bennington College. At Black Mountain she took a general curriculum and music, playing the flute in the college orchestra. In Winnetka, Illinois, where French was a teacher and headmaster at the North Shore Country Day School, she was a homemaker for her family including their two children and two nephews. She also worked for a number of summers at the French family’s Alamoosook Island Camp in Maine. After her divorce, she lived in Dublin, New Hampshire where she was active in local music activities.

Alternative name: Ruth French

Courses Taken

Fall 1935-1936: Music Appreciation with Evarts, Music Study and Practice with Sly, Post War World with Martin, Goldensen and Portell-vila, and Drawing I with Albers.

Spring 1935-36: Music Appreciation I with Evarts, Music Appreciation and Theory with Sly, Drawing I with Albers, Plato with Rice, Ethics with Goldensen, Flute with Sly, and Modern World Affairs with Portell.

Fall 1936-1937: Music II& III with Evarts, Plato II with Rice,Form in Literature with Waug, Old, Country Dancing with Sly, Choral singing with Sly, Dramatics II with Wunsch, and Current World Affairs with Portell-vila.

Spring 1936-1937: Music Appreciation II and III with Evarts, Plato II with Rice, Choral Singing with Sly, and Physics of Sound with Dreier.

Fall 1937-1938: Drawing II with Albers, Plato II with Rice, Harmony Tutorial with Evarts, Tutorial with Sly, Music Seminar with Surette, Orchestra I & II (cello) with Sly and Music Period (flute) with Sly.

Spring 1937-38: Harmony Tutorial with Evarts, Drawing II with Albers, Plato II with Rice, Music Period with Surrette, Music Seminar with Sly, Physics of Sound with Dreier, Orchestra I (flute) and II (cello) with Sly, and Flute study with Sly

the danse macabre: A Sociological Study, Saturday, May 14, 1938
Photograph of author


Mary Emma Harris

Mary Harris has long been regarded as one of the most prominent scholars on Black Mountain College. Her book, "The Arts at Black Mountain College" (1987), is one of the most influential publications on the history of BMC.

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