While in D.C. visiting the art museums, we made a point to go to the Hirshhorn Museum. You can’t miss the Hirshhorn because the building is round.
Upstairs, we saw an exhibit called Speculative Forms, which was displayed on two floors. Some of the pieces made me gasp, crave to touch or chuckle out loud to myself.
Seeing art in the round makes for a unique viewing experience.
HERE is Hirshhorn Highlights Part I, an account of the downstairs exhibit, a bold installation titled Belief + Doubt = Sanity by Barbara Kruger.
We had a special reason for visiting the Hirshhorn, which also encompasses sprawling grounds and a Sculpture Garden of masterpieces. For years I’ve been reading Naomi Caryl’s blog, Here in the Hills and her posts of the Hirshhorn opening, among other topics and accounts of her life growing up and as a performer/artist in Hollywood. Naomi, who Joe and I were blessed to visit in 2012, is the daughter of Joseph Hirshhorn, whose donations of collected art led to the museum being built. Check out scenes from our visit with Naomi in “Seeing Stars” HERE.
How’s this for a Sunday Shadow Shot? It’s The Great Warrior of Montauban by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and was a gift of Joseph Hirshhorn.
This sculpure of Rodin’s “Les Bourgeois de Calais,” was especially meaningful for me to see. I remembered seeing it on Naomi’s blog when it was in her father’s garden at his Greenwich, Connecticut estate. She also had a picture of her father standing with it HERE.
A shipbuilder from Maine,who was visiting the museum, explained the story behind the scene. Completed in 1889 the monument depicts an occurrence in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War when Calais, an important French port, was under siege and leaders (feeling certain they were facing their deaths) were ordered to surrender and walk through the city wearing nooses around their necks and carrying keys to the city. Obviously a fan of Rodin’s sculpture, the shipbuilder knew when most of his famous works were made, when they were cast and how many casts were allowed.
Here’s Joe with Rodin’s Walking Man.
I also loved seeing this piece, The King and Queen by Henry Moore, because I remember seeing it on Naomi’s blog at her father’s home and at the museum opening. Naomi wrote about it and other pieces HERE.
Here’s what the Hirshhorn brochure says: “The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art. The Museum opened on October 1, 1974, as the result of the efforts and generosity of American entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), who donated his collection to the Smithsonian in 1966.” The sculpture above is pictured in THIS post by Naomi about the 1974 opening.
Joseph Hirshhorn also bequeathed another 6,000 pieces of art after his death. All toll, it is likely to be the largest amount of art given to the United States by an individual. What an amazing gift that is enjoyed by so many and will be for many years to come.
Coming soon: I will be posting photos of Dan Graham’s “For Gordon Bunshaft.” It’s the piece done with two-way mirrors, steel, wood and stone pictured on the left in photo #5. We had a lot of fun photographing ghostly shots reflected in the work, which was acquired by the bequest of Joseph Hirshhorn after his death, along with museum purchase funds.
Hirshhorn Highlights Part I is HERE___Shadow Shot Sunday_____Our World Tuesday