Middlebury

Smith, Smog display

Tony Smith (American, 1912–1980) Smog [detail], 1969–1970, fabricated 2000 Painted aluminum, 7 x 80 x 60 feet. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2000.013 Location: East lawn of McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Tony Smith (American, 1912–1980)

Smog, 1969–1970, fabricated 2000

Painted aluminum
7 x 80 x 60 feet

Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2000.013

Location: East lawn of McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Smog is the largest and most complex work by Tony Smith ever constructed. The artist was an exact contemporary of the Abstract Expressionist generation, but his art, unlike theirs, was never based on controlled accidents. He was trained as an architect and was well versed in mathematics and modular systems; his sculptures evolved over time from simple to increasingly complex geometric forms.

Tony Smith, Smog

 

Smith died before Smog and other of his complex sculptures were fabricated in permanent materials. The sculpture is composed of octahedrons that create a lattice of positive and negative spaces. The cool metallic beauty and rhythm of its complex forms seem to have come into being by efflorescence, possessing both the logic of crystals and the passion of living forms.

Owen, Hieroglyphics display

Kate Owen (British, Born 1963) Hieroglyphics for the Ear [detail], 1997 Slate and steel, five stands, each 44 1/2 x 14 x 2 1/4 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.003 Location: Along the path between Atwater dining hall and 275 Weybridge Street

Kate Owen, Hieroglyphics for the Ear

Kate Owen (British, Born 1963) Hieroglyphics for the Ear, 1997 Slate and steel, five stands, each 44 1/2 x 14 x 2 1/4 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.003 Location: Along the path between Atwater dining hall and 275 Weybridge Street

Kate Owen (British, Born 1963)

Hieroglyphics for the Ear, 1997

Slate and steel, five stands, each 44 1/2 x 14 x 2 1/4 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.003

Location: Along the path between Atwater dining hall and 275 Weybridge Street

The practice of letter cutting has played a large role in society and art throughout history, and is an activity that ties our modern civilization to its ancestral roots. Employing the same essential techniques that have spanned the centuries, London-based letter cutter Kate Owen incorporates the power of language with the permanence of stone carving, so that expressive words are grounded in firm substance.

Kate Owen, Hieroglyphics for the Ear

 

Hieroglyphics for the Ear is a series of five slates, each with an onomatopoeic word carved on either side. Both the title and the inscriptions of the piece are taken from a Georg Christoph Licthenberg aphorism that declares, “words…which express sounds, are more than mere symbols; They are a kind of Hieroglyphics for the ear.” The inscribed words demand a twofold viewing experience: beyond the response that their literal meanings elicit, they exact a consideration of the aesthetic quality of their layout, letterform, and textural presence on the stone.

Hieroglyphics for the Ear is installed in a natural setting, on the pathway linking the Atwater Dining Hall with Nichols House, the residence of the Atwater Commons Faculty Heads.

Tony Smith, Smog

Tony Smith (American, 1912–1980) Smog, 1969–1970, fabricated 2000 Painted aluminum, 7 x 80 x 60 feet. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2000.013 Location: East lawn of McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Kate Owen, Hieroglyphics for the Ear (installed)

Kate Owen (British, Born 1963) Hieroglyphics for the Ear, 1997 Slate and steel, five stands, each 44 1/2 x 14 x 2 1/4 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.003 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Along the path between Atwater dining hall and 275 Weybridge Street

Scott Burton, Bench and Table

Scott Burton (American, 1939–1989) Bench and Table, 1988–1989 Cincinnati red granite, Bench: 87 x 18 x 19 inches; Table: 28 x 22 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.002 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Ross Commons Courtyard

CAPP's Mission

In the fall of 1994 the President and Board of Trustees of Middlebury College adopted a “One Percent for Art” policy that was recommended by an ad-hoc Committee on Art in Public Places (CAPP).

This decision set aside one percent of the cost of any renovation or new construction at the college for the purchase, installation, maintenance, and interpretation of works of art publicly displayed on campus. With the adoption of this policy, which came within two years of the completion of the Center for the Arts and the Museum of Art, the Trustees formalized the existence of CAPP and signaled that the arts would come to play an increasingly important role in Middlebury’s institutional identity.

The Trustees’ charge to CAPP was clear: expand the educational mission of the Museum and the History of Art and Architecture and Studio Art programs by placing on campus compelling works of high quality; make works accessible to the non-specialist through interpretative materials; elicit gifts and loans that enhance the aesthetic and educational mission of the arts; involve a broad representation of the community in the selection, installation, and interpretation process; and ensure the security and care of these objects.

Since its inception, the committee—comprised of faculty, students, administrators, and trustees of the college—has diligently pursued its agenda, evaluating proposed gifts and prioritizing prospective sites for art projects. In addition, CAPP has established fiscal policies and future goals and informed and educated the community at large about the works of art on campus. As a result, the Middlebury community and visitors alike can now enjoy one of the most important campus-wide sculpture collections of any American liberal arts college.

Richard Saunders
Chair, Committee on Art in Public Places
Director, Middlebury College Museum of Art
Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor

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