Papers relating to art commissioned for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1992-1998

Zilczer, Judith, b. 1948
Active in Washington, D.C.

Collection size: 0.4 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Papers kept by Zilczer in her capacity as a member of an advisory committee to the General Services Administration's (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 which 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" and also reflect the role of the committee as advocates for the artists when Stop Work Orders for Puryear and Sonnier were issued due to massive construction overrruns. Included are correspondence with Susan H. Harrison, Chief, Art-in-Architecture program, GSA; minutes and notes of committee meetings; architectural plans for the building; lists of other works of art commissioned by GSA; letters, memos, notes, and clippings regarding GSA's Stop Work Orders issued to Puryear and Sonnier, 1996; letters from Martin Puryear, Keith Sonnier and Stephen Robin; Sonnier's site proposal for "Route Zenith" including a print, as well as drawings; correspondence, clippings, and draft writings regarding the opening preparations, 1997; and clippings and other printed material concerning the dedication of the building on May 5, 1998.

Biographical/Historical Note: Zilczer is a curator at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Streets was most expensive federal building ever constructed, with a price tag of more than $818 million.

Transferred 1998 from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

How to Use this Collection

  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Make a Request

Reading Room Reproduction