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Tag: Hirshhorn Library

Discussing Contemporary Art Research with Tyler Green

Berkeley No. 22, 1954
Berkeley No. 22, 1954. Richard Diebenkorn, American, b. Portland, Oregon, 1922–1993. Oil on canvas, 59 x 57 in. (149.8 x 144.8 cm). Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Most art history students have had to tackle an assignment that requires researching a contemporary artist. Quickly, it becomes clear that the research of contemporary artists involves a different research process than more seasoned artists. The resources that students would normally access first, such as catalogue raisonnés or retrospective exhibition catalogues, most likely do not exist yet. So, what sources are available to researchers of contemporary art and how does a contemporary art museum library cater to those needs? These are questions we ask ourselves when building and managing our collection.

Political messages in Artists’ books

Sue Coe 1
Cover of Sue Coe’s “X”.

This post was contributed by Anna Brooke, librarian at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library.

One of the Hirshhorn Museum Library’s artists’ books with a political message is X by Sue Coe.  Coe is a British artist-journalist born Tamworth (Staffordshire), England in 1951. She attended the Royal College of Art, London. In 1972 she moved to New York City where she lives and works. Art and politics will be the theme for the Art Libraries Society (Arlis) conference which will be held in Washington, D. C. in the spring of 2014.

Christo Captivates a Full House at the Hirshhorn

Artist Christo at the Hirshhorn. Image courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery.
Artist Christo at the Hirshhorn. Image courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery.

This post was contributed by Rita O’Hara, library technician at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library.

At the March 27th public program “Meet the Artist” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Christo engaged a full house in the Ring Auditorium with discussions of two current projects: Over the River,  a 5.9 mile expanse of fabric panels which will be temporarily suspended over 42 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado, and The Mastaba, a new permanent sculpture reportedly the largest in the world to be situated near Abu Dhabi.  After showing images of his projects, Christo was very entertaining and gracious in answering any question from the audience.

Visionaire at the Hirshhorn Library

One of the pieces from Visionaire, no. 33
One of the pieces from Visionaire issue “Touch” where actual string is stitched into the cardboard sheet.

The Hirshhorn Library has had the benefit of receiving creative, non-traditional items from generous contributors that reflect a playfulness with format and materials found in contemporary art.  One such unexpected gift was that of the art and fashion periodical Visionaire , which has been published three times a year in limited quantities since 1991. Each issue has a particular theme that is illustrated in some form or another through the collaboration of Visionaire with contemporary artists and fashion designers from around the world.

A Timely Invitation

Exit Art exhib. invite image croppedThis post was contributed by Rita O’Hara, library technician at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery Library.

Rejoining the staff at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden library in mid-January provided synchronistic help to a British PhD Student’s research.  Who would have guessed that my quest to settle in to my new desk at the library would lead to the discovery of an item of intrigue? 

Hirshhorn Library Welcomes UC Berkeley Externs

Externs with Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads

It is no secret that today’s job market is a dog-eat-dog world. With unemployment rates at record highs, the future that many college graduates see on the horizon is a grim and scary place. However, University of California, Berkeley has created a program to help better prepare their students for the post-graduate battlefield. The Externship Program creates opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in a chosen career field during their winter break. The program is made possible by UC Berkeley alumni who generously share their time with undergraduates who are ready to explore a career. Depending on the sponsors availability, the externships can range from one day to one month. Although many other notable universities such as Cornell, USC, Boston College, and University of Pennsylvania have similar externship programs, it is still a relatively unknown opportunity. Below, Haley and Kaylie share their experience working at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.