Hang on a second while we grab that post for you.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the Smithsonian Institution's museum of modern and contemporary art.
The Hirshhorn is located on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW in Washington DC.
October 25, 2013
Raphael Montañez Ortiz performs one of his historic “Piano Destruction Concerts” on the Hirshhorn’s outdoor plaza as part of the opening night of “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950.”
Capturing the Contemporary is a collaborative initiative among Hirshhorn conservators, curators, educators, and other staff to engage in a series of preservation-focused dialogues with artists about their works in the collection.
It has become globally recognized that artist interviews are an essential component in the conservation of modern and contemporary artworks. Artists continue to push boundaries by exploring unconventional materials and fabrication techniques. Further complications have arisen with the advent of installation and conceptual art. Communication with the artist is often necessary to elucidate not just how a work was made but also which components or qualities are central to its meaning, thus requiring preservation.
For access to interview transcripts, send a request to email@example.com.
"Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950"
October 24, 2013 to May 26, 2014
While destruction as a theme can be traced throughout art history, from the early atomic age it has become a pervasive cultural element. In the immediate post-World War II years, to invoke destruction in art was to evoke the war itself: the awful devastation of battle, the firebombing of entire cities, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, and, of course, the Holocaust. Art seemed powerless in the face of that terrible history. But by the early 1950s, with the escalation of the arms race and the prospect of nuclear annihilation, the theme of destruction in art took on a new energy and meaning. In the decades since, destruction has persisted as an essential component of artistic expression. “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950” offers an overview of this prevalent motif.
Many of the earlier works in the exhibition directly record nuclear bombs or their aftermath, or use such documentation as a starting point for broader commentary. The use of found film, television, and photography as a source expanded more widely in the 1960s as the importance of media coverage of disasters on a cataclysmic or everyday scale increased. Other artists adopted more conceptual or symbolic approaches to address the potential for destruction in the world or as a reaction to social conventions. Destruction has also been employed as a means of questioning art institutions or challenging the very meaning of art itself. In many of the artworks on view, regardless of time period, medium, or intent, the desire to control destruction or to emphasize the integral relationship between construction and destruction is central.
But whether as rebellion or protest, as spectacle and release, or as an important facet of re-creation and restoration, it is apparent that for generations of artists internationally, destruction has served as an essential means of considering and commenting upon a host of the most pressing artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time.
Browse through the Hirshhorn’s selection of lectures and talks including Friday Gallery Talks, Meet the Artists, and Exhibition Walk-throughs.
Hirshhorn’s ARTLAB+ Lead Audio/Visual Mentor Drew Doucette speaks with Kim Schoenstadt on September 26, 2013.
12 Minutes with Jennie C. Jones
Hirshhorn associate curator Evelyn Hankins speaks with Jennie C. Jones.
BE A PART OF SMITHSONIAN HISTORY
Every year millions of people make an unforgettable pilgrimage to the Smithsonian. American families have visited the Smithsonian for over 150 years, and when we look at their photos we see a visual narrative of America’s history.
To celebrate our shared experience, we’re gathering photos from people around the country to be part of America’s Family Album.
Upload a photo from a visit to the Smithsonian to generate a $5 donation from Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, and instantly join the online exhibit. Your photo might even be chosen to be featured in an on-site exhibit in 2014.
Submit a photo and be entered to win a trip for two on Smithsonian Journeys’ “Cruise Around Florida,” — a 10-day sail featuring natural beauty, “Gilded Age” charm and an Everglades adventure!
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Enews
Sign up today to subscribe to the Hirshhorn Enews, and stay up-to-date on events and activities at the Hirshhorn.
29 Minutes with Christo
Early in his career, Christo created actual-size reinterpretations of commercial displays such as “Store Front,” included in the new Hirshhorn exhibition “Out of the Ordinary.” He and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, went on to develop public art projects that involve wrapping pieces of architecture in fabric or intervening in the landscape on a grand scale. In this evening’s lecture, Christo discusses two ongoing projects: “Over the River,” 5.9 miles of fabric panels to be temporarily suspended above 42 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado, and “The Mastaba,” the largest sculpture in the world and the pair’s only permanent large-scale work, to be located near Abu Dhabi.
The Hirshhorn is pleased to announce the launch of its new mobile website. The intuitive, user-friendly design, developed in association with Homefront Communications, offers quick and easy access to essential information about the Museum’s current and upcoming exhibitions, collection works on view, upcoming free public programs, and museum location and hours.
The Hirshhorn encourages you to visit the mobile site at www.hirshhorn.si.edu and add the bookmark to your smartphone’s home screen.
Discover the 3-D imaging methods used to help preserve Bruce Nauman’s “From Hand to Mouth.”
Bruce Nauman’s “From Hand to Mouth” is a relief sculpture designed to be hung on a wall. The sculpture is cast in a synthetic hydrocarbon wax and supported from the reverse by a layer of woven jute fabric strips.
Wax is a vulnerable material that is easily deformed, especially at elevated temperatures. As such, “From Hand to Mouth” is an inherently fragile artwork. To prevent sagging of the wax due to the pull of gravity, Hirshhorn conservators fabricated a removable support bracket that attaches to the back of the sculpture. To minimize the risk of damage during transport, the artwork is rarely allowed to travel to outside exhibitions.
Click here for more information.
August 20, 2012 to December 2014
Part of an initiative to bring art to new sites within and around the building, this installation by Barbara Kruger will fill the Lower Level lobby and extend into the newly relocated Museum bookstore. Famous for her incisive photomontages, Kruger has focused increasingly over the past two decades on creating environments that surround the viewer with language. The entire space—walls, floor, escalator sides—will be wrapped in text-printed vinyl, immersing visitors in a spectacular hall of voices, where words either crafted by the artist or borrowed from the popular lexicon address conflicting perceptions of democracy, power, and belief.
At a moment when ideological certitude and purity seem especially valued, Kruger says she’s “interested in introducing doubt.” Large areas of the installation are devoted to open-ended questions (“WHO IS BEYOND THE LAW? WHO IS FREE TO CHOOSE? WHO SPEAKS? WHO IS SILENT?”), while the section occupying the bookstore explores themes of desire and consumption. At once addressing the individual, the museum, and, symbolically, the country, Kruger’s penetrating examination of the public sphere will transform one of the Hirshhorn’s key public spaces.
Click here for more information.
Don’t forget to visit the Sculpture Garden located on the side facing the National Mall, across Jefferson Drive. You’ll encounter the work of some of the best-known artists of our time, including Rodin, Ono, Calder, and more. The cool green spaces and geometric reflecting pool offer an atmosphere of contemplation and retreat.
Click here for more information.
ARTLAB+ programs give technology and artist mentorship to teens ages 13-19 who want to socialize, experiment with media, and sharpen their critical thinking and digital literacy. Teens choose their own activities and projects to produce with professional video and photo gear, music and recording equipment, video games and graphic design resources. Inspired by the collection and temporary exhibitions, a staff of artist mentors serve school groups during the day and drop-in teens after school and on weekends. Teens have the opportunities to create clubs, plan events, join production teams and learn in workshops. Weekend and weeklong workshops are held year-round to accommodate a wide variety of schedules. We welcome all teens, regardless of experience.
The ARTLAB+ space is funded, as a member of the YOUmedia Network, by the MacArthur Foundation. ARTLAB+ programs are funded by the Pearson Foundation, in partnership with the New Learning Institute, along with funds from the Knight Foundation, Vivian and Elliot I. Pollock and internal Smithsonian Institution funds from the Youth Access Grant.
The Hirshhorn hosted several Mobile Learning workshops in the summer of 2010 and is featured in a PBS documentary called “Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century.”
Check out this feature on our ARTLAB+Game Design workshop.