Hirshhorn Museum Analysis

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The Hirshhorn Museum: Rings of Adventure

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has always generated conversation about its choices. Even after it had just been constructed, its architectural choices were the subject of critique. Two days after the museum opened in 1974, Ada Louise Huxtable, of The New York Times, gave the following review: “[The building] is known around Washington as the bunker or gas tank, lacking only gun emplacements or an Exxon sign… It totally lacks the essential factors of esthetic strength and provocative vitality that make genuine ‘brutalism’ a positive and rewarding style. This is born-dead, neo-penitentiary modern. Its mass is not so much aggressive or overpowering as merely leaden.” On the other hand, while
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Outside of the museum, under an open space of the building, there is a seating area, in which I often see people, who probably work nearby, eating lunch and enjoying the sculptures on the museum’s yard. People can also sit around the edge of the beautiful fountain in the center of the museum space. The lobby of the museum has tables and chairs and it looks like a place where visitors can talk and catch up with their friends or reflect on the art they had just seen. On the third floor of the museum, there are long comfy couches placed in front of a great view of the National Mall. All these seating areas have stylish furniture and are comfortable and welcoming, allowing visitors to hang out and reflect on the art, form opinions, and have conversations with …show more content…
Not only because the art is fairly recent, not in some distant past like the 1600s, but also because of the questions posed by and the involvement with many of the works. Modern and contemporary art is always controversial, but these mechanisms of engagement allow the visitor to have their own opinions of the work. It is okay to think a work of art is ugly. It is okay to think a work of art is amateur. It is okay to not even like your experience. There isn’t this feeling that you have to go along with this narrative that because art is in a museum, you must like it and you must think it is good and worthy of being a part of the history of humanity. Even in a place like the Museum of Modern Art there are little hints of this elitist idea in the air: the idea that the displayed artwork is precious and significant, and if you don’t like it you just don’t understand it or are ignorant. I don’t really get that from the Hirshhorn. My visits to the Hirshhorn are always a fun, intimate, and interactive

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