Segments in this Video

Hirshhorn Museum (02:55)


Joseph Hirshhorn wanted a museum whose collection belonged to the people. After meeting with President Johnson in 1966, he realized that his artwork belonged in America. Gordon Bunshaft designed the museum, which recently opened at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Warehouses Full of Art (04:33)

The sculpture garden contains works by Henry Moore, David Smith, and Alexander Calder. Hirshhorn first became interested in art when cutting pictures from a calendar and placing them on the wall. Hebought a $1 million of artwork every year.

Museum Collection (01:57)

Explore works by Constantin Brancusi, George Segal, Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper, and Red Grooms. Hirshhorn selected which artwork to donate, but let curators organize the exhibits.

Affinity for Thomas Eakins (02:11)

Hirshhorn believes "Eakin's Wife" looks like his mother. The museum's collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and letters of Thomas Eakins. Hirshhorn also purchased paintings by John Singer Sargent, John Sloan, and Winslow Homer.

Hirshhorn's History (03:47)

Explore works by Robert Delaunay, Medardo Rosso, and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux in the collection at the Hirshhorn Museum. Hirshhorn donated $1 million to complete the building. Originally, Hirshhorn collected Monet, Chagall, and Renoir but had to sell the paintings when he experienced economic difficulties; Hirshhorn traveled to Canada and developed the largest uranium mines in the world.

Hirshhorn's Preferences (02:01)

Hirshhorn explains the reaction he wants when looking at art. He bought a Raphael Soyer painting in less than 15 minutes. He purchased Egyptian artwork on a whim, but now wants to be better informed before making more.

Hirshhorn's Private Collection (02:54)

Hirshhorn no longer possesses the time and energy to amass massive amounts of artwork. He retained a portrait of himself and two engravings by Albrecht Dürer. The financier purchased his home in 15 minutes because he could imagine how he would lay out his sculptures in the garden.

Getting Artwork Off Hirshhorn's Property (02:22)

The Hirshhorn Museum needed to airlift 28 pieces from Hirshhorn's private home to install them at the museum, including Moore's "King and Queen." Hirshhorn is not sad that the artwork is no longer at his home.

Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Collection (03:09)

Rodin's "Burghers of Calais" is the most famous work in the sculpture garden. Bunshaft's original design for the garden was rejected. The collection includes works of 19th and 20th-century French sculptors emphasizing Rodin, Edgar Degas, and Henri Matisse.

Artwork Rights (02:21)

While Hirshhorn's name will remain on the museum in perpetuity, curators have the right to buy, sell, or lend any artwork; 435,000 individuals came to the museum in the past month. Hirshhorn has no regrets about donating the artwork and thinks the museum is beautiful.

Credits: Joseph H. Hirshhorn Discusses His Washington Museum (00:44)

Credits: Joseph H. Hirshhorn Discusses His Washington Museum

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Joseph H. Hirshhorn Discusses His Washington Museum

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Exploration of the artistic and philanthropic passions of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, the "Uranium King," at the opening of his museum, The Hirshhorn Museum, a gift to the nation in Washington, D.C. Includes scenes of the gala inaugural party and the installation of art work, including the helicoptering in of a massive stone piece. With comments from celebrity artists invited to the opening. Interview and commentary by arts critic and lecturer Rosamond Bernier, who also visits Hirshhorn on his estate in Connecticut where many more pieces from his vast collection are seen. The Hirshhorn Museum was at the time of filming the newest addition to the museum-lined Mall in the national capital; its opening meant that in one jump Washington D.C. had placed itself in the front ranks of major modern art centers.

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL128503

ISBN: 978-1-64023-335-5

Copyright date: ©1975

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.