Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

By DullesMoms, May 2023

Located just two blocks from the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden stands as a modernist emblem. Established as an Act of Congress, part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Hirshhorn boasts a remarkable modern and contemporary art collection, making it a top destination for tourists and locals alike.

This museum, over the decades, has not only served as a center for art appreciation but has also played a pivotal role in shaping dialogues around modern and contemporary art. The rotating exhibitions and acquisitions continually redefine the boundaries of artistic expression, fostering an evolving conversation about the role of art in society.

The Hirshhorn is home to an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces spanning the late 19th century to the present — roughly 12,000 pieces make up its permanent collection. Notable artists, including Picasso, Giacometti, Koons, and Hockney, are represented in the collection.

Its meticulously curated 1.3-acre sculpture garden is a hidden gem amid a busy urban environment, with artworks from the 20th century to today. Visitors will find works from renowned artists, like Rodin, Calder, and Moore.

Architecturally, the Hirshhorn is hard to miss. Designed by acclaimed architect Gordon Bunshaft and opened in 1974, the museum’s cylindrical building sets it apart from its rectangular neoclassical neighbors on the Mall. This top-visited destination for art lovers stands as a testament to its namesake, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, and his passion for art. In 1966 he donated his vast collection of modern art to the Smithsonian (and therefore, the nation), ensuring invaluable access to future generations.


Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden • Washington, DC (Map)


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