Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, located in DC is home to Barbara Kruger’s “Belief+Doubt” exhibit. Located on the first floor, the photomontages and inspiring quotes from Kruger and other influential people are plastered amongst the walls, floor, and ceiling. Each quote is meant to conflict perceptions of democracy, power, and belief.

This four story circular building is full of art collections ranging from paintings and computer art to sculptures and photography.

The entrance is on the second floor of the building. The lobby has an information desk and a lounge area. The information center is full of brochures and information about the museum. They also show information about other museums in the area.

The escalator will lead you up to the third floor, which is closed. As the escalator goes up, you look up and see dozens of lights streamed across the ceiling. It is breathtaking.

The fourth floor is ginormous. Because the building is a circle, you walk around the outer loop and then you can walk around the inner loop. The outer circle starts out with normal paintings and drawing. But as you start walking through it, sculptures and photographs start to get mixed in. There are amazing paintings that are made to look 3D. There are cut out pieces of walls and stone that are hung amongst the walls. Some are covered in graffiti and some are just marbled stone on top of more stone. Some art is made of metal like the swing located on the top floor. Metal isn’t the only abnormal material used in these artwork. There is a 7-up sculpture made entirely of soda cans and a giant collage made of Hershey’s candy wrappers.

About halfway through the outer circle there is a large room dedicated to just taking a break. There are couches and people sit up there to read, do work and look at the amazing view. There is a balcony on the top floor that you can go out on as long as it isn’t too windy. The balcony that overlooks D.C. has a jaw-dropping view.

The inner circle of the top floor is all sculptures. There is one made out of wood with spray cans and added little figures to make it more fun. Another wooden sculpture by Sol LeWitt that is painted white adds an interesting illusion to the amazing museum.

Although most of the museum is a mix of different artists’ projects, there is one room of photographs of historic music compositions. The photographs are blown up to be huge and you can actually read the composer’s notes on the side of the paper.

Some sculptures are a little bit graphic, like the sculpture of a severed warriors leg by Paul Thek.

The gift shop is on the first floor and so is the video exhibit. The video exhibit is a collection of mini clips or special effects video. One video is of a mouth talking about social issues and talking about body image. It is a powerful piece that is meant to make you think. The museum gets super busy between noon and 3 p.m. so be sure to get there early and avoid crowds.