Details

Keywords Change this

Modernism, Round

Project timeline

1969 – 1974

Type

Museum

Location Change this

700 Independence Ave SW
DC 20560 Washington
USA
www.hirshhorn.si.edu

Architect Change this

__

Article last edited by Maria Thuroczy on
May 02nd, 2013

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Change this

Washington, USA
by Gordon Bunshaft Change this
1 of 2

Description Change this

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., the United States. The museum was initially endowed during the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. One of the "big five" modern art museums in the U.S., it was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the United States' museum of contemporary and modern art and currently focuses its collection-building and exhibition-planning mainly on the post–World War II period, with particular emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.

Design Concept

Bunshaft conceived the Hirshhorn as “a large piece of functional sculpture” among the shrine-like structures of the National Mall. The hollow-centered, elevated cylinder—primarily a gallery for paintings—floats above nearly four acres of landscaped grounds for sculpture.

Curved galleries expand the visitor’s view of works. An entire wall of windows opens the interior and focuses on the fountain, while a recessed garden provides serenity. Like the round Guggenheim Museum in New York, the drum-shaped Hirshhorn is bold compared with its neighbors (Mall constructions tend to be brick Victorian fantasies, modernist block buildings, or neoclassical temples), but symmetry and frontality conserve the official Washington, DC, architectural mode.

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