A Finding Aid to the Papers Relating to Art Commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1992-1998, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.zilcjudi
Creators:
Zilczer, Judith
Dates:
1992-1998
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers relating to art commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, compiled by Judith Zilczer, measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1992-1998. Papers kept by Zilczer in her capacity as a member of an advisory committee to the General Services Administrations (GSA) Art-in-Architecture Program, charged with recommending works of art to decorate the federal Ronald Reagan Building and International Center. The collection documents the process that resulted in the selection of three works of art: Martin Puryear's Bearing Witness, Stephen Robin's Federal Triangle Flowers, and Keith Sonnier's Route Zenith. The records also document the role of the committee as advocates for the artists when Stop Work Orders for Puryear and Sonnier were issued due to massive construction overruns.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers relating to art commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, compiled by Judith Zilczer, measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1992-1998. Papers kept by Zilczer in her capacity as a member of an advisory committee to the General Services Administrations (GSA) Art-in-Architecture Program, charged with recommending works of art to decorate the federal Ronald Reagan Building and International Center. The collection documents the process that resulted in the selection of three works of art: Martin Puryear's Bearing Witness, Stephen Robin's Federal Triangle Flowers, and Keith Sonnier's Route Zenith. The records also document the role of the committee as advocates for the artists when Stop Work Orders for Puryear and Sonnier were issued due to massive construction overruns.
Records include correspondence and printed material about the building opening preparations and dedication ceremony; correspondence and notes about the Stop Work Order in 1995; correspondence and site proposal from Keith Sonnier; correspondence, meeting minutes and notes, projects, installations, and artists regarding the Art-in-Architecture Program; and correspondence, proposals, and architectural drawings regarding the GSA.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as 1 series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The U.S. General Services Administration allocates up to ½ of one percent of the estimated construction costs of a Federal building for commissioning works of art. The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Streets, had an estimated construction cost of $350 million, but became the most expensive federal building ever constructed at a price tag of more than $818 million. Judith Zilczer served on the panel to make recommendations concerning the type and location of works of art for GSA's consideration. Other panelists were Charles Atherton, Charles Blitzer, M. J. Brodie, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Jack Cowart, James Ingo Freed, Tom Green, George Gurney, Lester Hunkele, and Alec Simpson. Because of their deliberations, Puryear, Robin, and Sonnier were awarded commissions. While these papers document Zilczer's interactions with committee members and others, they concern only her participation. The story behind the Reagan Building GSA commission forms a significant chapter in the history of late twentieth-century public patronage.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid was created by Kristi Meltvedt in 2017.
Author
Kristina Meltvedt
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers relating to art commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center were transferred from the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on July 9, 1998, where Zilczer worked as curator.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Papers relating to art commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1992-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art are personal papers of historian, writer and curator Judith Zilczer, which measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1973-1995, and an oral history interview with Paul Allen Reed conducted by Judith Zilczer, April 29, 1994.
Additionally, The Smithsonian Institution Archives in Washington, D.C. holds a large collection of Judith K. Zilczer Papers, 1975-2003.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Federal aid to the arts -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Commissioning -- Washington (D.C.) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art patronage Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Puryear, Martin, 1941- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sonnier, Keith, 1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robin, Stephen, 1944- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Public Buildings Service. Art-in-Architecture Program. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/