Measuring 'Infinity': Jose de Rivera's Smithsonian Sculpture on the National Mall

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Summary

Shayt addresses the meanings of the monumental sculpture outside the Mall entrance to the National Museum of American History, Jose de Rivera's 'Infinity.' In March of 1967, de Rivera's abstract sculpture was installed on the plaza in front of the new National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History. The piece was part of the General Services Administration's Art-in-Architecture program, designed to commission works from living artists for federal buildings. Article traces the influence of the building's architect, Walker Cain, in selecting de Rivera, de Rivera's work and views on its meaning, and the changing public reaction to the sculpture.

Subject

  • De Rivera, José Ruiz 1904-
  • Cain, Walker O. 1915-1993
  • United States General Services Administration
  • National Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • Museum of History and Technology (U.S.)
  • Infinity (Sculpture)

Category

Smithsonian History Bibliography

Notes

Shayt is Associate Curator of Engineering, Division of Works and Industry, National Museum of American History.

Contained within

Curator, The Museum Journal Vol. 51, Number 2 (Journal)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

April 2008

Topic

  • Sculpture
  • Public sculpture

Place

Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)

Physical description

Number of pages : 7; Page numbers : 179-185

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