Survey: SculptureCenter

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$750,001 - $1,000,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
Founded in 1928. Incorporated as non-profit organization in 1944. Mission 2005 (current): Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new work and presents exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists. Mission 2004: The mission of SculptureCenter is to engage with artists in evolving the definition of contemporary sculpture. Our programs and exhibition place sculpture in a rich aesthetic, cultural, and historic context. We educate, enthuse, and entertain a broad audience including artists, art lovers, art professionals, and the communities in which we live. SculptureCenter earns support through a focus on artistic vision and fiscal responsibility. Mission 2003: SculptureCenter nurtures and supports experimentation and excellence in contemporary sculpture. By providing opportunities for established and emerging artists to produce and exhibit work in multiple dimensions, and by educating audiences about sculpture and its relationship to other art forms and fields, SculptureCenter acts as a catalyst for new ideas in contemporary art and culture. Mission 2000-2002: SculptureCenter’s mission is to support and encourage experimentation and excellence in contemporary sculpture by providing opportunities for artists to produce and exhibit work in multiple dimensions; educating audiences about sculpture and its relationship to other art forms and fields; and acting as a catalyst for new ideas in contemporary art and culture. Earlier versions exist, but only in hard copy and aren’t immediately accessible.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
The only non-profit cultural organization in New York to champion contemporary sculpture in all of its forms, SculptureCenter has been an active contributor to New York City’s cultural community since 1928. Originally founded as “The Clay Club” by Dorothea Denslow, SculptureCenter renamed itself in 1944 and moved to a carriage house on East 69th Street in Manhattan. Here it established a ground floor gallery space dedicated solely to sculpture with workshops and studio space on the upper floors. Over the course of the next half-century, as the field of sculpture expanded and evolved, SculptureCenter’s exhibition and education programs have as well. SculptureCenter’s programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision through solo exhibitions of mid-career and established artists. Since 1987, SculptureCenter’s Artist-In-Residence program has been providing artists with the uncommon opportunity to develop a new work in the exhibition space over an extended period of time. The newly established SculptureCenter Prize is awarded annually to an accomplished yet under-recognized New York artist who has produced a mature body of work and shows further potential. The recipient receives a cash award and a solo exhibition accompanied by a catalog. Off-Site projects taking place in public and semi-public venues allow artists and audiences to explore sculpture’s role in the larger environment. The In Practice program supports artists in creating new work for exhibition at SculptureCenter. Work in all media will be considered and artists are welcome to experiment with the parameters of traditional display and exhibition formats. The Image Library includes documentation and information on over four hundred artists and is available by appointment to curators, collectors and scholars interested in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter also features images of four to six artists selected from the Image Library on our website on a quarterly basis. Education is integral to SculptureCenter’s mission and its programs. Seminars and workshops provide opportunities for professional and non-professional artists to expand their practice both inside and outside the studio. Lectures, dialogues, film and video screenings, performances and publications serve to provide an extended and more layered context for the program and contribute to historical documentation and critical dialogue around contemporary art.
Website Link to Organization's History / Organization Overview: and
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: Please note: This page only provides information on exhibitions dating back to 2002. Information on earlier shows by request.
Website Link to Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History:
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Mary Ceruti
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Dorothea Denslow deceased
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
James L. Bodnar
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Carey Ascenzo
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Collective / Unincorporated Association
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Political climate!
Part 7.
All of the above.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Other Concerns - Please describe below.
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
SculptureCenter is in possession of many materials regarding the organization’s founding, records, exhibits, maintenance, etc. When Dorothea Denslow passed away in the 1970s, she donated her personal archives to the Smithsonian, and my understanding is that because much of her life was SC, there is a lot of overlap in that material.
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
See above, also in at least one former staff member’s home. I suspect many former SculptureCenter artists, especially those who were members in the early Clay Club days, retain papers and mementos that would be of interest to us.
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10c.
10c. How are arrangements made for access to archive?: 
In 2002 a small exhibition called "From Clay Club to SculptureCenter" highlighted images and ephemera from the archives. Four chronological scrapbooks were made as part of this exhibition and they are kept on site and available to view by appointment (contact Carey Ascenzo.) The information in these books will satisfy most casual inquiries. The majority of the SculptureCenter archives are kept in boxes in an off-site self storage facility. It’s about a 10-minute walk from SC and is therefore fairly easy to get to, but the material is not accessible to non-staffmembers since much of it is quite fragile. Special requests/inquiries are always considered, however! Curators and other researchers may also be interested in the SculptureCenter Image Library, which is a curated slide registry of current work by artists in the field. The Image Library is also by appointment only (for logistical reasons; the files are kept in our not-so-roomy affice space) and is free for SC members. There is a fee for non-members to research the files. We have an ongoing effort to digitize the information in the archives and Image Library and set up a searchable database for researchers, but these projects remain works-in-progress for the foreseeable future.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Oral History, Recordings and / or Transcripts
Other Audio Recordings (i.e. records, etc.)
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
Other Digital Materials
Prints / Lithographs / Etchings / Screenprints / etc.
Unique Art Objects
Other Artwork. Please describe below.
Glass transparencies, 16mm films, V-mail.
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials - Please describe below.
Handmade signs by original members promoting exhibitions, mounted on foam core and museum board.
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Commercially Published Materials
Checklists / Performance Programs / Price Lists
Programs of Events
Publication or Merchandise Catalogues
Other Printed Publications
11e. Other: 
Architectural Drawings / Floor Plan
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Installations
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Performances
Mock-Ups / Models / Prototypes