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December 2013

Bursting the Hirshhorn’s bubble

by Bruce Cole

The folly of Richard Koshalek and the dire financial situation of the Hirshhorn museum


Rendering of the proposed Hirshhorn bubble; image by Diller Scofidio Renfro

Ada Louise Huxtable called it “born-dead, neo-penitentiary modern,” so it’s hard to believe that anyone would try to make the Hirshhorn Museum even uglier, but give Richard Koshalek credit for trying.

The Hirshhorn, the Smithsonian’s museum of modern art on the National Mall in Washington, was designed by Gordon Bunshaft to house the collection of the rags-to-riches stock market and mining magnate Joseph Hirshhorn. It opened in 1974 to much controversy over its design and the naming of a national museum after a living donor, a practice that the Smithsonian now regularly embr ...

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Bruce Cole is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 December 2013, on page 14

Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

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