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Series Record

Title :
Earthworks Symposium administrative files
Record Group :
Arts Commission
Series Number :
Series Date(s) :
1978-1981  Begin Date: 1978    End Date: 1981 
Level :
Scope :
In 1979, the King County Arts Commission sponsored a large project entitled, "Earthworks: Land Reclamation as Sculpture." The project explored the possibilities of rehabilitating technologically abused land (gravel pits, surface mines, landfill sites, etc.) as environmental artworks . The Earthworks project, the largest single project ever undertaken by the Arts Commission, drew national and international attention from artists and landscape designers. It received financial support from local governments, federal agencies, and private citizens and foundations, including the Seattle Art Museum. The project was undertaken in two phases. Phase I was the design, by artist Robert Morris, of an earthwork sculpture at Johnson Pit #30, a former King County gravel pit now located in the City of SeaTac. The Arts Commission partnered with the King County Department of Public Works and a private contractor to construct the Johnson Pit earthwork (August-November 1979). Phase II was a design symposium held in Seattle in July and August 1979. Invited artists submitted designs for specific abused sites: Seattle's Montlake Landfill and Magnuson Park, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's clear zone, two King County gravel pits near Snoqualmie and Carnation, and the Lakeside Sand and Gravel mine in Issaquah. None of the designs was actually constructed. Photographs, drawings, and models from the design symposium formed a museum exhibit that traveled the United States for two years. This series consists of Arts Commission files relating to the administration of both phases of the project. The files contain textual material organized under topical categories: accounting, documentation, exhibits, personnel, Phases I and II, publicity, reports and overviews, research and planning files, unfunded grant files, and miscellaneous cost accounting records. The categories, and the folders within each category, are arranged alphabetically. Related series: Series 1742, Arts Commission Earthwork Symposium coordinator records; and Series 1747, Office of Cultural Resources Project files: Robert Morris earthwork (symposium photographs; subsequent history of Morris earthwork). Objects (models, drawings, collages, engineering studies and photographic documentation) from the traveling Earthworks exhibition were donated by King County to the Seattle Art Museum in 1998. A retrospective exhibit about the Earthworks project can be found on the Web page of the King County Archives.
Physical Description :
8 document cases (4 cubic feet) of textual materials.
Contains :
Permanent Link :