The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a contemporary art museum located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The museum houses modern art from mid-19th century to the present. Designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft, the tire-shaped concrete building is located next to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the south end of the National Mall. Across the street facing the Mall is its companion outdoor Sculpture Garden, filled with large, unique modern art sculptures softened by flower-lined paths.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn, a wealthy stockbroker from Greenwich, CT, donated his collection of over 6,000 paintings and sculptures to form the core of the museum during President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s administration. The museum opened to the public in 1974.
The Hirshhorn’s permanent collection includes artworks include works from Auguste Rodin to Andy Warhol. Over the years, curators have added to the inventory with works of many contemporary artists. It’s an eclectic mix of bizarre and whimsical works in stark contrast to the classic Old Masters paintings on display across the National Mall at the National Gallery of Art West Building.
Guided and self-guided tours are available. Admission is free. Check here for details.