Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum was designed by Gordon Bunshaft to house 6,000 pieces of the enormous art collection amassed by the industrialist Joseph H. Hirshhorn and presented by him to the nation in 1966. Opened in 1974, it is the capital city's first museum devoted exclusively to modern art. The building is a circular, windowless slab of concrete faced with pink granite. The sculpture garden extends from the glass-walled interior courtyard of the building; it contains a shallow pool and a fountain surrounded by masterworks of 19th- and 20th-century sculpture that are considered the chief strength of the collection. The painting collection is especially strong in works by Eakins and examples of pop art, op art, color-field painting, and the new realism. In addition to works from the collection and new acquisitions, temporary exhibitions organized in collaboration with other museums are presented. The museum's full name is the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

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