background image
King County logo

Click on thumbnail to select image
Series Record

Title :
Project files: Robert Morris earthwork
Record Group :
Cultural Resources, Office of
Series Number :
Series Date(s) :
1976-1999  Begin Date: 1976    End Date: 1999 
Level :
Scope :
The Division of Cultural Resources was established in 1982 in the Department of Planning and Community Development (after 1986, the Department of Parks, Planning and Resources). It continued as the Office of Cultural Resources under the County Executive from 1997 to 2003, when responsibility for heritage programs was transferred to a quasi-independent public development authority, 4Culture. During the time that Cultural Resources (division and office) existed within King County government, it provided agency oversight of several formerly independent county heritage programs, including the King County Arts Commission (established 1967) and its staffed programs, and the Public Art Program (1996). This series consists of files relating to the King County Art Commission's 1979 project, "Earthworks: Land Reclamation as Sculpture." This large project explored the rehabilitation, through creative partnerships with environmental artists, of technologically abused land such as gravel pits, surface mines and landfill sites. The project was undertaken in two phases. Phase I was the construction, from a design by artist Robert Morris, of an earthwork sculpture at Johnson Pit #30, a former King County gravel pit later located in the City of SeaTac. Phase II was a design symposium (July-August 1979) involving six invited artists. The records in this series succeed project files in Series 278, Arts Commission Earthwork Symposium administrative files. They divide into two general groupings: (1) Textual and photographic records relating to the 1979 Earthworks project. The textual records include a print media clipping file organized by date; background information about earthwork sculptures and artist Robert Morris; various administrative records, and documentation of the two-year traveling exhibit of design drawings and models which followed the Seattle symposium. The photographic records include prints of widely-reproduced black-and-white images taken by official Earthworks photographer Colleen Chartier. Images of clearing and construction at the Johnson Pit #30 site (c. August-September 1979) are also present. This series includes some images (pre-construction photographs and design drawings) of the Herbert Bayer earthwork at the City of Kent's Mill Creek Park. The Bayer earthwork was not a part of the King County project but was featured in the design symposium and in the traveling exhibit. (2) Textual records, photographs, and sound recordings relating to efforts by the Arts Commission and Cultural Resources staff to maintain, repair and restore the Robert Morris earthwork during the period 1981-1998. Included are records of 1984 actions by the King County Council to provide security and a maintenance budget for the earthwork; records relating to a 1988 public art condition survey report which found the earthwork in need of extensive restoration; efforts to realize funding for the restoration; Council response requesting a study of alternatives to restoration; documentation of the Robert Morris Earthwork Study Group (1993) which recommended restoration; and documentation of the actual restoration, undertaken with participation by the artist, from 1995-1997. Sound recordings (audiocassette tapes) of the meetings of the Study Group, and of a site inspection with artist Robert Morris (1995; transcript available) are present in this series. Photographs remain with their associated textual records.Arrangement is first by format [textual records, Earthwork project photographs (1979), sound recordings]. Earthworks project photographs are arranged by project phase and then alphabetically by invited artist surname. Sound recordings are arranged by date. Textual records, divided into the groupings indicated above, have been placed in a general chronological order within each grouping. Headings and dates written on folders may not always accurately reflect folder content, which is itself frequently Colleen Chartier is to be credited when any of her images are used.
Physical Description :
2 records cartons and 2 document cases (2.88 cubic feet) of textual materials, photographs, 10 audio cassettes, and 1 video cassette.
Contains :
Permanent Link :