November 30, 2017

A Sonnet for WAM

In the summer of 2011 while the Weisman Art Museum was closed for construction, local visual poet Scott Helmes proposed a sonnet to honor the completion of an expansion to the iconic building. The correspondence from Helmes is as engaging to look at as the artist’s other works.

Helmes proposal begins:

Please send me a small plastic bag of dirt, sand, gravel, dust, from your museum construction site.
I will return to you a dedication sonnet, signed with the date of your opening, as a gift of the artist to your collection.

The finished work of art titled Weisman Art Museum Dedication Sonnet E on October 2, 2011 was added WAM’s collection in 2011. These letters whjich were previously amidst other files of correspondence now reside in the WAM registrar’s object files rather than the archives because the letters deal specifically with the creation and acquisition of an artwork in the collection. Although no image is currently available for this artwork, it is similar in appearance to the photographic example sent with the letter.

Helmes other works are included in WAM’s collection, Minneapolis Institute of Art, various other art collection and his writings are included in the Avant Writing Collection of The Ohio State University Libraries

Heather Carroll is the processing archivist for the Weisman Art Museum‘s collection at the University of Minnesota Archives. This project was made possible by funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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