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Nevada Arts Council: Save Outdoor Sculpture!


Biographical Note

The Nevada Arts Council (NAC) is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. Their vision is: A Nevada in which the arts enrich the lives of all residents, enhances the livability of communities, and contributes to the state’s economic revitalization.

Scope and Content

Save Outdoor Sculpture! is a national survey of the outdoor sculpture sponsored by Heritage Preservation (The National Institute for Conservation) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In each state there was a local partner, in Nevada that being the state arts agency, the Nevada Arts Council. Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) helps communities across the United States preserve and promote their sculpture. SOS! began in 1989 by involving 7,000 volunteers and state and local organizations to catalog and assess 30,000 publicly accessible outdoor sculptures. Of that total, 54 percent were determined to be in critical or urgent need of conservation to survive. The data is accessible via the Inventory of American Sculpture database at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Nevada Arts Council staff and contractors documented 197 outdoor sculptures, including 59 in Las Vegas. The Nevada survey discovered that more than half of the state's outdoor sculpture had been created from the 1980s onwards. Works documented during the project ranged from the Civil War monument titled Nevada's Tribute to Union Soldiers and Sailors made in 1891 to Luis Jimenez's Vaquero at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, and more vernacular works such as Rod McCormick's Coffee Can Chicken in Fallon, Thunder Mountain in Imlay, and Guru Road north of Gerlach.

Materials include files covering project from inception to completion including correspondence, S.O.S. field forms, reports, documentation and photographs of individual works.


The Nevada Arts Council: Save Outdoor Sculpture! archive is organized into 48 folders. Beginning with program ephemera, information, correspondence and reports, and followed by individual sculpture assessments organized alphabetically by city name.

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

1 cubic feet



Related Publications

Heritage Preservation. A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America's Collections. Washington DC: December 2005.

Container Listing:

  • CAE Box 24

    • Folder 1 9 Assessments, Gerlach Contains five assessment for sculpture in Gerlach, Washoe County "Guru Road", "Mills Folley", two untitled, and one unknown title.
    • Folder 2 9 Assessments, Las Vegas (4 of 5) Contains ten assessment for sculpture at Las Vegas, Clark County "The Water Bearers", "Mast and Sails", "Copper Obelisk", "Still Life for the Sunset", "Ground Zero", "Mary and Child", "Tribute to Shorty Harris", "Innes Moon", "Old Sourdough", "Bathtubs".
    • Folder 3 9 Assessments, Rhyolite Contains seven assessment for sculpture at Rhyolite, Nye County "The Last Supper", "Chained to the Earth", "Don Quixote", "Desert Flower", "Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada", "Icara", "The Bottle House and Tommy's tiny Town".
    • Folder 4 8 Negatives and Contact Sheets Contains the 15 contact sheets with their negatives, 3 sheets of negatives without contact prints, and 1 large format (4 x 5) negative.
    • Folder 5 Project Notes Contains handwritten notes related to the SOS! program
    • Folder 6 Mid-Project Report Contains the 37 page mid-project report
    • Folder 7 Final Report Contains the 15 page project report as well as drafts and related documents.
    • Folder 8 Smithsonian Institution, Nevada Inventory Contains the 28 page inventory of Nevada outdoor sculpture in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System.
    • Folder 9 Assessments, Baker Contains the 4 page assessment of outdoor sculpture in Baker, White Pine County "Porchasaurus Wrecks".