Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Preservation and Partnerships
As owner and custodian of Spiral Jetty, Dia Art Foundation maintains the lease of Utah sovereign lands in Great Salt Lake upon which the artwork is sited, and is responsible for the long-term preservation and stewardship of this iconic earthwork.
At the time Dia acquired Spiral Jetty, the work was fully submerged in the lake. Beginning in the early 2000s, however, sustained drought in Utah caused water levels to recede, and Spiral Jetty became visible for the first prolonged period in its history. As a result, the prominence of Spiral Jetty has risen dramatically over the past decade, increasing both the visitorship to the site and the public’s interest in the artwork, at the local, national, and international levels.
Dia ensures to do everything in its power to preserve the artwork, and it is committed to maintaining a photographic record of the work and documenting changes to the piece over time.
Dia collaborates with two organizations in Utah, the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College (GSLI) and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah, who have been deeply involved in the advocacy of Spiral Jetty over the years. Through the partners’ respective missions and expertise, they collectively assist Dia in preserving and maintaining the site, as well as building local awareness and sustaining the integrity of the artwork.
Great Salt Lake Institute, Westminster College
The Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College (GSLI) regularly uses the Spiral Jetty as a site for scientific research, art and science curriculum enrichment, K-12 outreach efforts for teachers and students, and community field experiences. As frequent visitors to Rozel Point, GSLI serves as a key ally for Dia, particularly with regard to environmental issues, site maintenance, and accessibility, as well as Great Salt Lake planning and management issues which may impact the Spiral Jetty. www.greatsaltlakeinstitute.org
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah (UMFA) is the State of Utah’s official art museum, and its collection includes several works by Robert Smithson. UMFA works with Dia to ensure that the Spiral Jetty’s cultural reputation is upheld locally, and to promote the exceptional significance of the artwork within Utah. www.umfa.utah.edu
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands
The State of Utah owns the bed of Great Salt Lake where Spiral Jetty is located. The land is leased to Dia Art Foundation by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL). FFSL recognizes Spiral Jetty as an important state resource. www.ffsl.utah.gov