Hirshhorn Museum

The Hirshhorn Museum located in Washington DC is one of the most respected art museums in DC, and in all of the United States. Opened in the 1960s, this museum was named after Joseph H. Hirshhorn and was designed by Gordon Bunshaft. It is one of the few DC museums that is under the management of the Smithsonian Institution.


The Hirshhorn Museum is located at the National Mall at the corner of Independence Avenue and 7th Street. Like most Washington DC museums, it opens from 10 am to 5:30 am, with its admission always free. The Hirshhorn Museum also has a Park and Garden exhibit center that opens from 7:30 am onwards. It also has a museum shop where souvenirs can be purchased.


The Hirshhorn Museum was established under the mandate of the US Congress to build an art museum for the National Mall. The museum’s benefactor, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, was a wealthy businessman whose wealth came from uranium mining. He is an avid art collector of works created by classic French impressionists and modern-day artists. When he sold his interests in the uranium business, he expanded his art collection to include more paintings and sculptures. His collection awakened the interest of many international art communities and became so popular that it encouraged President Lyndon B. Johnson and the then Smithsonian Secretary Dillon Ripley to campaign for the construction of the museum at the National Mall.

Main Exhibitions

The main exhibition of the Hirshhorn Museum is of course, the pieces from Joseph H. Hirshhorn’s personal collection. Right now, many of the pieces he owns are now undergoing conservation to prolong their life and legacy. Also included in the permanent exhibitions of the Hirshhorn Museum are the Black Box Series, the Directions Series, and the Works Series. Currently, a Moving-Image Art collection with new works from Doug Aitken, Michael Snow, Chris Chong Chan Fui, and Paul Sharits is featured.

Main Artists

There are about 66 artists whose works were featured at the Hirshhorn Museum. However, one of the most popular artists included in its roster is Italian sculptor Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), who has several pieces of his ‘Spatial Concept: Nature’ featured at the Plaza. David Smith (1906-1965), another American sculptor credited for works such as ‘Bolton Landing’, ‘Voltri XV’, ‘Pittsburgh Landscape’, and ‘Cubi XII’ is featured as well. There’s also French artist Auguste Rodin (1840-1971), who made the ‘Third Architectural Model for “The Gates of Hell”’, ‘The Burghers of Calais’, and ‘Crouching Woman’, among others.

Main Artworks

The artworks at the Sculpture Garden and Plaza of the Hirshhorn Museum are very interesting pieces which include the ‘Les Bourgeois de Calais’ by Auguste Rodin, ‘Kiepenkerl’ by Jeff Koons, and Yoko Ono’s ‘Wish Tree for Washington, DC’. All of these are the reasons why the Hirshhorn Museum isregarded as one of the most visited museums in DC.