Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Nancy Holt, 1993 Aug. 3

Holt, Nancy, 1938-2014

Installation artist, Filmmaker, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 1 Sound cassette, Sound recording: (1 hr., 35 min.), analog.; 34 Pages, Transcript

Format: Poor sound quality in some sections.

Summary: An interview of Nancy Holt conducted 1993 Aug. 3, by Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz, at the artist's studio in New York, NY, for the Archives of American Art.
In the interview, Holt talks about her body of work, including pieces such as Catch Basin, Star Crossed, Sun Tunnels, and Ransacked; her creative process; the conceptual and physical ideas that influence her work; why she does public art; the functions or needs public art fulfills for its audience; the difficulties of being a public artist; and the future of public art and its patronage. Holt also recalls Richard Long, Jan Dibbets, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nancy Holt (1938- ) is a sculptor, filmmaker, and installation artist from New York, N.Y. Married to sculptor Robert Smithson.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for this interview was provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Nancy Holt, 1993 Aug. 3. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.