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Hirshhorn garden brought back to life

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For many years it would have been difficult to imagine a building less in favour than the Hirshhorn Museum. The concrete tub on Washington DC’s National Mall was often derided as a disaster, a relic from the Brutalist years; a work by architect Gordon Bunshaft, who was once responsible for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s best and most refined buildings but was, by then, past a prime which saw him tailor exquisitely refined corporate landmarks such as New York’s 1952 Lever House.

How things change. Today the Hirshhorn is seen as a sculptural object in its own right, a hardy survivor from an architectural era which has lost so many monuments. Its sculpture garden, though, has fared less well. Its opening in 1974 coincided with the capital’s lowest ebb. A city still scarred and blackened from the riots sparked by the death of Martin Luther King, the downtown was emptying of

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A MESSAGE FROM YAYOI KUSAMA TO THE WHOLE WORLD – Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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Today, with the world facing COVID-19, I feel the necessity to address it with this message:

Though it glistens just out of reach, I continue to pray for hope to shine through
Its glimmer lighting our way
This long awaited great cosmic glow

Now that we find ourselves on the dark side of the world
The gods will be there to strengthen the hope we have spread throughout the universe

For those left behind, each person’s story and that of their loved ones
It is time to seek a hymn of love for our souls
In the midst of this historic menace, a brief burst of light points to the future
Let us joyfully sing this song of a splendid future
Let’s go

Embraced in deep love and the efforts of people all over the world
Now is the time to overcome, to bring peace
We gathered for love and

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Colorful coffee filter sculpture – Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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Colorful coffee filter sculpture

Transform a flat coffee filter into a sculptural work of art inspired by artist Sam Gilliam. All you need is a coffee filter, some markers, and a spray bottle or cup of water.

[time] 30–40 minutes
[skill level] beginner
[topic] 2D to 3D transformation

Portrait of artist Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam portrait by Fredrik Nilsen Studio

Artist Sam Gilliam (b. 1933) is a painter and member of the Washington Color School. During the 1960s and ’70s, many people thought African Americans should make art about civil rights. Sam Gilliam defied this by making colorful experimental works inspired by the world around him.

Sam Gilliam, Ruby Light (1972)

One of the things that inspired Sam Gilliam was laundry hanging from clotheslines. He liked the way it looked and began to drape the canvas of his paintings. With your child, look up images of city clotheslines or hang something from a clothesline inside your own home. How does it look?


MAKE IT

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