40th anniversary programming

40th anniversary programming

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Ernesto Neto, The Dangerous Logic of Wooing, 2002. Installation view of At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 2014. Photo: Cathy Carver.

November 3, 2014

40th anniversary programming
Fall 2014–winter 2015 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW
Washington DC 20560
Hours: Daily 10:30 am–5:30 pm, 
except December 25



Click here for our complete programs calendar.

Forty years ago, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opened to the public with great fanfare. As the first museum on the National Mall devoted to modern art and one of the world’s leading museums of contemporary and modern art, the striking round building is home to a highly regarded permanent collection and pioneering exhibitions that reflect the best art of our time. Continuing in that tradition, the museum kicks off its yearlong 40th anniversary celebration with two new exhibitions. At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection and Days of Endless Time feature works by more than 60 artists. A series of free public programs is planned as part of the anniversary celebration.

James T. Demetrion Lecture: “Claes Oldenburg: Spirit of the Monument”
November 8, 4pm
One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Claes Oldenburg is known for his soft sculptures, performance pieces, and installations, as well as for the many architectural-scale public works he made with his late wife and partner Coosje van Bruggen. Featured prominently on the Hirshhorn’s plaza and in the 40th anniversary exhibition At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection, Oldenburg’s works transform the scale, function and shape of familiar objects, allowing viewers to see the ordinary in unexpected ways. Please join us for this tenth annual Demetrion Lecture as the artist discusses the development of his inventive sculptural work.

This annual program is made possible by the Friends of Jim and Barbara Demetrion Endowment Fund, established in 2001 to celebrate Jim Demetrion’s 17-year tenure as the Hirshhorn’s second director.

Curators in Conversation: “33 Artists in 3 Acts”
November 20, 7pm
The Curators in Conversation series concentrates on creativity—what inspires curiosity, motivates imagination, and produces meaning. The newly inaugurated platform will continue with internationally renowned curator Francesco Bonami, who will be joined by cultural sociologist and best-selling author Sarah Thornton. They will discuss the issues behind 33 Artists in 3 Acts, Thornton’s new book, which examines the role of artists around the world today. Thornton interviewed 130 artists before settling on the ones who feature in her narratives, including Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst, Rashid Johnson, Jeff Koons, Laurie Simmons, Martha Rosler, and Andrea Fraser. A Q&A session and a book signing follow the conversation.

The series is sponsored by Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern.

Meet the Artist: Charles Simonds
December 10, 7pm
Over the past 40 years, New York-based artist Charles Simonds has been creating an imaginative body of work investigating the relationship between humans and their environment. Combining sculpture, architecture, performance and community planning, Simonds’s oeuvre centers on an exploration of the way people’s beliefs are reflected in the structures they build. His sculpture Rock Flower is on view in Speculative Forms. Join us as the artist discusses his inventive practice, from his miniature dwellings to his large-scale installations.

Meet the Artist: Spencer Finch
January 22, 7pm
Spencer Finch works in a variety of media, including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. Often recreating the experience of natural phenomena through artificial constructions, Finch’s work raises questions about perception, memory, experience, and time. The artist is known for his light-based installations, including Cloud (H2O), 2006, on view in the Hirshhorn’s 40th anniversary exhibition At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection. Mimicking the molecular structure of water through an arrangement of suspended light bulbs, the sculpture is a glowing representation of water vapor that hovers between representation and abstraction. Join us as Finch speaks about his work as part of the Museum’s ongoing Meet the Artist series.

Meet the Artist: Janine Antoni
February 11, 7pm
Bahamian-born, New York-based artist Janine Antoni creates powerful works through intimate and idiosyncratic means. Painting with her hair, carving with her teeth, and shaping with her tongue, Antoni blurs the line between sculpture and performance. Lick and Lather, 1993–94, one of the artist’s most renowned pieces, is on view in At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection. The work features two cast busts of the artist, one in chocolate and one in soap, which the artist wore down by licking and bathing. Join us as Antoni discusses the development of her sculpture, photography, and performance.


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 40th anniversary programming
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
November 3, 2014

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