WWU secures new $150k grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support upcoming Noguchi, Holt exhibitions 

The Western Washington University Foundation has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation on behalf of the Western Gallery. The grant from the Luce Foundation's “American Art Program” will support two exhibitions, publications, and programming related to Western Gallery’s outdoor sculpture collection.

Scheduling is under way for the two exhibitions: “Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi” and “Nancy Holt’s ‘Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings’ – Geological Place and Cosmological Space.” Scheduling the exhibitions is underway. They are expected to open in 2020-21.

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“Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi” is curated exclusively for the Western Gallery by Dakin Hart, Senior Curator at The Noguchi Museum in New York. This exhibition will bring Noguchi’s skyviewing sculptures together for the first time. More than 40 sculptures and several drawings have been loaned for the exhibition by The Noguchi Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection of Noguchi’s work.

The Noguchi exhibition explores the various forms that the skyviewing theme takes in context of original works, comprising 60 years of Noguchi’s long career, 1928-1988. An illustrated 132-page book will be published in conjunction with the exhibition, for international distribution by D Giles Ltd.

“Nancy Holt’s Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings: Geological Place and Cosmological Space” will be curated by Barbara Miller, professor of Art History at Western, who has researched Holt’s work extensively in location. The Holt-Smithson Foundation has agreed to lend work to the exhibition, including Holt’s “view finding” photographs, concrete poems, films, and Locators. An illustrated book will be published by Bruna Press in conjunction with the Holt exhibition.

Both Noguchi and Holt sought to connect the viewer to the cosmos through naked-eye observatories, reflective pools, and sculptures aligned to specific astrological events. 

A day-long symposium in 2021 will be organized around Holt’s place within the Land Art movement, and will also bring the two artworks, Noguchi’s Skyviewing Sculpture and Holt’s Rock Rings, into dialogue.

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. The Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy. A leader in arts funding in the United States, the American Art Program was established in 1982 to support museums, universities, and arts organizations in their efforts to advance the understanding and experience of American and Native American visual arts through research, exhibitions, publications, and collection projects.

For more information about the exhibition and the gallery, visit westerngallery.wwu.edu or call (360) 650-3963.