(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) has won the 2012 award for Outstanding Exhibition in a University Museum for its exhibition Sol LeWitt: The Well-Tempered Grid. The prize was awarded by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) at its Annual Awards for Excellence. This is the first time WCMA has been honored with the award.
Sol LeWitt: The Well-Tempered Grid, curated by Charles “Mark” Haxthausen, the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History, was the first exhibition to focus on the centrality of the grid in LeWitt’s art. The exhibition was organized in conjunction with Haxthausen’s seminar on Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings. “My goal was to use the exhibition as a means to give my students insights into the nature of the mind that conceived the wall drawings,” explains Haxthausen. “An examination of LeWitt’s evolving use of the grid across the media of drawings, gouaches, prints, artist’s book, structures, and wall drawings proved to be the ideal vehicle for that purpose.”
LeWitt (1928–2007) was a renowned American artist whose prolific career encompassed various forms of art, including his famous wall drawings, printmaking, and painting. He is regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art. The Well-Tempered Grid focused on LeWitt’s use of the grid as a generative matrix for his artistic production over the span of nearly five decades, from 1960 until his death in 2007. Composed of approximately 65 works on loan from the LeWitt collection in Chester, Conn., and a selection of the artist’s books from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library, the exhibition complemented Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Perspective at MASS MoCA in nearby North Adams.
The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) aims to support and promote the work of museum curators, as well as heighten public understanding of the curator’s role in art museums. As a part of these efforts, AAMC recognizes distinguished achievement in the field through annual awards. Awards for best exhibitions or installations are chosen through a vote by the entire membership of AAMC. The Award for Outstanding Exhibition or Installation in a University Museum was created in 2010. Previous recipients are the Pomona College Museum of Art (2011) and the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2010).