Nancy Holt: Massachusetts

November 11, 2021 - January 23, 2022

Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Spinwinder 1991) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Photograph: Chris Diani, 2021.
Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Spinwinder (1991) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Photograph: Chris Diani, 2021.

Exhibition opens November 11th at both the CVPA Campus Gallery at the UMass Dartmouth Campus, and the Univerisity Art Gallery at the Star Store Campus. 

Exhibition Catalog


November 11, 12:00-6:00pm
UMass Dartmouth Campus

Symposium program, tour details, and gallery locations, as well as directions to parking and shuttles, can be found here: Nancy Holt Symposium Program & Map

Opening Reception

November 11, 6:30pm
University Art Gallery, CVPA Star Store Campus
New Bedford, AHA! Night


Related Articles

Spinwinder construction, week of September 8, 1991. Installation of aluminum tubing
Spinwinder construction, week of September 8, 1991. Installation of aluminum tubing "spindles" and final touches, contact sheet 1748. UMass Dartmouth archives. UMass Dartmouth Photographics Department, photographer.

Nancy Holt: Massachusetts explores Nancy Holt’s Massachusetts connections, especially her family history in New Bedford. The University Art Gallery exhibits works by Nancy Holt that refer to her relatives in New Bedford, where her grandfather Samuel Holt was a faculty member at the New Bedford Textile School, one of UMass Dartmouth’s predecessor institutions. Artifacts from his teaching work in Design and Weaving, and collectible ornaments that he gave to Nancy Holt, will be on view. A substantial portion of the exhibition is dedicated to Nancy Holt’s Aunt Ethel, who lived on Locust Street in New Bedford. Nancy Holt produced two narrative artworks about the life and decline of Aunt Ethel – the video artwork Underscan (1974) and the artist book Ransacked (1980) that will also be presented.

This exhibition is part of an initiative celebrating the 30th anniversary of Holt’s Spinwinder (1991), a public sculpture on the UMass Dartmouth Main Campus. Spinwinder has artifacts embedded in its foundation that refer to local industrial histories. The exhibition will explore the design and construction of the sculpture, and highlight a model of Spinwinder made by Nancy Holt, one of four gifts to the University given by the Holt/Smithson Foundation on the occasion of this exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a companion presentation of Electrical System (1982) in the CVPA Campus Gallery. Electrical System is a room-sized sculpture by Holt that was exhibited at John Weber Gallery in New York City in January 1982 and at the David Bellman Gallery in Toronto in February 1982. The work is part of Holt’s series of Systems Works that reveal infrastructures of the built environment; each presentation works carefully with the exhibition space. UMass Dartmouth is proud to present the first posthumous presentation of Electrical System in the United States. This exhibition and initiative is organized by Dr. Rebecca Uchill and is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation's American Art Program.


Contact Viera Levitt, Gallery Director, / 508-999-8555

Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Electrical System, studio version, 1981. Installation view, Nancy Holt’s New York City loft, Courtesy Holt/Smithson Foundation. © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Spinwinder maquette, ca. 1990-1991. Copper, wire, and wood. 18 in. x 25 in x 22.5 in. From the UMass Dartmouth Campus Art Collection, URC 133 at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Acquired through a gift of Holt/Smithson Foundation © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York. Photograph: Chris Diani

Gallery University Art Gallery