Nancy Holt Archives Head to Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art

We are very pleased to announce Nancy Holt’s papers are finding their permanent home at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

Nancy Holt’s papers document the development of her art and ideas over the course of more than four decades, her network of artist peers, her personal life, and her care for the legacy of Robert Smithson. Holt and Smithson were married in 1963, and Holt managed his estate from 1973 until her passing in 2014. Holt’s files include extensive documentation of both realized and unrealized works, exhibitions, publications, interviews, and her wide-ranging research interests. This bequest from the Estate of Nancy Holt brings Holt’s papers together in the same institution with the widely consulted Robert Smithson papers, which she generously donated to the Archives in eight separate gifts  between 1986 and 2011. 

“Research and partnerships are at the heart of Holt/Smithson Foundation. The Archives of American Art is the perfect home for the Papers of Nancy Holt, and aligns with Holt’s lifelong dedication to research,” said Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of Holt/Smithson Foundation. “We are committed to growing our partnership with the Archives to enable new scholarship on the enduring legacies of Holt and Smithson. Their work continues to resonate with artists working today.”

Liza Kirwan, Interim Director, Archives of American Art says, “The bequest of Nancy Holt’s papers and related materials will provide researchers with unparalleled resources for the study of her work. This important collection adds immensely to our already substantial holdings relating to both Holt and Smithson and joins the Archives' oral history interviews of both artists.  We look forward to working with Holt/Smithson Foundation and a global public to expand scholarship on Nancy Holt.”

Nancy Holt’s works of art are held at Holt/Smithson Foundation. We are actively working on a number of national and international loans from our collection. The Foundation welcomes research queries, and appointments to consult materials at the Archive are made via their website.

Read article by Gabriella Angeleti in The Art Newspaper  about this collection.

Page from Nancy Holt's notebook listing potential titles for Dark Star Park (1984)

Collection of the Archives of American Art

© Holt/Smithson Foundation

Archived News

2021 Research Fellows: Markus Karstieß and Eva Schmidt

We are pleased to announce the final fellowship awardees in our 2021 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellowship season: Markus Karstieß and Eva Schmidt.

Markus Karstieß and Eva Schmidt will collaborate on a Research Fellowship focused on Robert Smithson’s 1968 work Asphalt Lump and his related work made in the Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany. 

Wednesday Writings

We are excited to share our latest digital program: Wednesday Writings.

Every Wednesday through July and August we will be publishing a text from Nancy Holt or Robert Smithson to the Holt/Smithson Foundation website.⁠⁠

Holt and Smithson's writings provide an unparalleled vantage into the concepts, processes, and thoughts that guided their artwork. Both artists wrote extensively and had their writings published in art publications such as ArtforumStudio International, Arts Magazine, and Avalanche. 

Previously Unpublished Smithson Interview Now Available

We are pleased to share the audio recording and transcript of a previously unpublished Robert Smithson interview from 1969, conducted in Smithson’s NYC loft by Danish artist Stig Broegger and journalist and author Erik Thygesen.

During an extensive research trip to the U.S., Broegger and Thygesen sought out Robert Smithson in New York for a conversation on Environmental Art and the role of art and artists in society. The two recalled the amount of glass, mirrors, and piles of rocks in the loft Smithson shared with Nancy Holt in Greenwich Village.