Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Stuart Collection Records
Identifier/Call Number: RSS 1250
30.2 Linear feet
(9 records cartons, 37 oversize folders, 18 tubes, and 18 art bin items)
Date (inclusive): 1982-2006
Abstract: The Stuart Collection Records contains the materials documenting art pieces held in the Stuart Collection as well as proposals
for projects that were not built.
The audio and video recordings are restricted. Researchers must request user copies.
Acquired 2002, 2006, and 2017.
Stuart Collection Records, RSS 1250. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
The Stuart Collection was created in 1981 through a partnership between the University of California, San Diego and the Stuart
Foundation with a gift from businessman and philanthropist James Stuart deSilva (1919-2002). DeSilva's goal was to establish
a collection of public art in a setting where people who might not otherwise seek out art could encounter it as a part of
their everyday lives. In addition to its original $1.5 million endowment, the collection has received financial support from
organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Russell Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the California
Arts Council. Since 1998, the Friends of the Stuart Collection International Advisory Committee has also provided an important
network of support both for new projects and the long-term care of built works. Founding director, Mary Beebe, has overseen
the collection and its growth since 1981.
Artists invited by the Stuart Collection's Advisory Committee to contribute proposals are prominent figures of twentieth-century
conceptual art, including artists not typically associated with environmental sculpture. The Advisory Committee includes the
Stuart Foundation's chair and at least one artist, an art critic, and a member of the UCSD faculty. As of 2002, more than
forty artists had submitted proposals.
All sites on UCSD's campus are available for an artist's consideration, though projects are subject to a campus review and
final approval of the chancellor. Throughout the proposal, design, and construction processes, artists tailor their work to
the selected site.
Proposals may be rejected for a variety of reasons, including conflicts with the University's plans for a site, logistical
infeasibility, safety concerns, or insufficient funding. The obstacles which occasionally occur during the approval or construction
process are illustrated by several projects represented in the Stuart Collection Archive. Bruce Nauman's VICES AND VIRTUES,
originally conceived for the Mandel Weiss theater, was ultimately relocated to the Powell Structural Laboratory when area
residents objected to the proposed use of neon lights and the general nature of the work. Objections from residents also played
a part in the ultimate rejection of two amphitheater proposals from James Turrell (LAODICEA and Amphitheater Proposal). Works
cancelled due to conflicts with University plans include George Trakas's PEPPER CANYON (1987), and Richard Fleischner's preliminary
proposals for works in a canyon (not included in this archive) and a eucalyptus grove (included). For more information on
the subject of project changes, researchers should see LANDMARKS: SCULPTURE COMMISSIONS FOR THE STUART COLLECTION AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA (Rizzoli International, 2001). Additional information about the Stuart Collection may be found at the collection's
As of 2006, the Stuart Collection includes 16 completed works: SUN GOD (1983), Niki de Saint Phalle; TWO RUNNING VIOLET V
FORMS (1983), Robert Irwin; LA JOLLA PROJECT (1984), Richard Fleischner; TREES (1986), Terry Allen; SOMETHING PACIFIC (1986),
Nam June Paik; UNDA (1987), Ian Hamilton Finlay; VICES AND VIRTUES (1988), Bruce Nauman; LA JOLLA VISTA VIEW (1988), William
Wegman; UNTITLED (1991), Michael Asher; TERRACE (1991), Jackie Ferrara; GREEN TABLE (1992), Jenny Holzer; SNAKE PATH (1992),
Alexis Smith; RED SHOE (1996), Elizabeth Murray; STANDING (1998), Kiki Smith; READ/WRITE/THINK/DREAM (2001), John Baldessari;
BEAR (2005), Tim Hawkinson.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Stuart Collection Records contains the materials documenting art pieces held in the Stuart Collection as well as proposals
for projects that were not built.
The Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego, is a collection of site-specific public art in settings
where people can encounter it as part of their everyday lives. The artists invited to contribute proposals by the Stuart Collection's
Advisory Committee are prominent conceptual artists, including some not typically associated with environmental sculpture.
As of 2006, 16 works have been completed: SUN GOD (1983), Niki de Saint Phalle; TWO RUNNING VIOLET V FORMS (1983), Robert
Irwin; LA JOLLA PROJECT (1984), Richard Fleischner; TREES (1986), Terry Allen; SOMETHING PACIFIC (1986), Naum June Paik; UNDA
(1987), Ian Hamilton Finlay; VICES AND VIRTUES (1988), Bruce Nauman; LA JOLLA VISTA VIEW (1988), William Wegman; UNTITLED
(1991), Michael Asher; TERRACE (1991), Jackie Ferrara; GREEN TABLE (1992), Jenny Holzer; SNAKE PATH (1992), Alexis Smith;
RED SHOE (1996), Elizabeth Murray; STANDING (1998), Kiki Smith; READ/WRITE/THINK/DREAM (2001), John Baldessari; BEAR (2005),
Tim Hawkinson. The records include design materials from fourteen of the artists whose works have been built for the Stuart
Collection, and proposal materials from thirteen artists whose works have not been built, as well as photos of an early non-constructed
proposal from Richard Fleischner. The greatest portion of the materials are blueline print or whiteprint plans, although drawings,
photographs, and other graphic materials are also present. Also included are audio and videorecordings of interviews, installations
and other events, and brochures.
Accession Processed in 2002
The accession processed in 2002 contains audio and videorecordings documenting the installation of Stuart Collection projects,
interviews with artists, and promotional materials. Formats include Beta-Sp video, 3/4 inch video, and audiocassette recordings.
Arranged in one series: 1) RECORDINGS.
Accessions Processed in 2006, 2017
The accessions processed in 2006 and 2017 include plans and proposals for Stuart Collection projects. Work by a total of 27
artists is included; fourteen artists whose works were constructed, and thirteen artists whose proposals were not constructed.
One artist, Richard Fleischner, appears in both categories.
The greatest portion of materials are whiteprint or blueline print plans with specifications for a project's construction.
Since Stuart Collection works are outdoors, and typically large scale, some artists employed large photographs, maps, or topographical
surveys of a proposed site with additional artwork or transparent overlays illustrating features of the project. Drawings,
photographs, and other graphic media are also included.
Arranged in three series: 2) WORKS BUILT, 3) WORKS NOT BUILT, and 4) PUBLICITY MATERIALS.
Selected items from Series 2) WORKS BUILT are on indefinite loan to the Stuart Collection office. For access, please contact
the Stuart Collection office.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Public sculpture -- California -- San Diego
Stuart Collection (San Diego, Calif.)