U.Va. to confer Thomas Jefferson
Medals in architecture and law
Former U.S. Solicitor General Waxman and
artist James Turrell are this years recipients
By Jane Ford and Fariss Samarrai
Waxman, former Solicitor General of the United States, and James
Turrell, an artist whose groundbreaking work explores the perception
and manipulation of light, will receive the 2002 Thomas Jefferson
Medals in Law
medals are the highest outside awards offered by the University,
which grants no honorary degrees.
a partner with the Washington law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering,
will receive the 26th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law. Turrell,
whose work has influenced the disciplines of art, architecture
and landscape architecture, will receive the 37th annual Thomas
Jefferson Medal in Architecture.
awards, sponsored jointly by the University and the Thomas Jefferson
Foundation Inc. (the non-profit organization that owns and operates
Monticello), will be presented as part of the Universitys
Founders Day celebration. The event usually is held on Jeffersons
birthday, April 13, but since that date falls on a Saturday, the
presentations will be made April 12.
part of the celebration, both recipients will give public lectures.
Waxman will speak April 11 at 4:15 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion at
the Law School. The title of his talk is, On Ruby Ridge:
Federalism, Law Enforcement and the Supremacy Clause.
Turrells lecture, The Other Horizon, will be
April 12 at 3:30 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall auditorium. There will
be an exhibit of the artists work in the School of Architecture
P. Waxman, a partner with the Washington law firm Wilmer, Cutler
& Pickering, served as the 41st Solicitor General of the United
States in the Clinton Administration and has held several other
senior positions in the federal government, including deputy attorney
solicitor general is the governments lawyer before the Supreme
Court. Seth Waxman discharged that responsibility with skill,
integrity and dedication. In an era of partisan dispute and bitterness,
he was respected by all, said John C. Jeffries Jr., dean
of the U.Va. School of Lasw.
has argued more than 30 cases in the Supreme Court and has tried
and argued dozens of other high-profile civil and criminal cases
in federal and state courts across the country. Widely considered
to be among the countrys premier legal orators, he has received
numerous awards, including the Department of Justices Edmund
J. Randolph Award and the American Bar Associations Pro
Bono Publico Award.
also has represented dozens of international corporations and
corporate officers and directors, as well as senior federal and
state governmsent officials, including a former President Richard
is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College. He received
his law degree from the Yale Law School, where he was managing
editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Turrell is internationally renowned for his installation art examining
lights relationship with the environment.
selection of Turrell to receive the Jefferson Medal in Architecture
reflects our desire to honor an artist whose work has informed
the study and development of architectural space and the natural
landscape through the study and manipulation of light, said
Karen Van Lengen, dean of the School of Architecture. Turrells
experiments in light have explored the use of artificial and natural
light as a means of demonstrating the changing effects of light
in the environment as well as its universal qualities. We are
grateful for his contributions to the general field of architecture
and landscape architecture.
largest and most ambitious work to date the Roden Crater
in Flagstaff, Ariz. will open in 2003. Since 1972, he has
been transforming a natural crater into a large-scale work of
art, using a network of tunnels and chambers that will enable
people to experience lights relationship to the surrounding
sky, land and culture.
graduating from Pomona College in California with a degree in
perceptual psychology in 1965, Turrell turned his interests to
art as a graduate student at the University of California at Irvine.
There, he first experimented with perceptual interpretations of
light as an art form.
first light piece, Afrum-Proto, used projected light to create
a three-dimensional floating cube image in the corner of a room.
work has since been exhibited around the world, from Denmark to
Japan, including retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American
Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.