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In honor of World Architecture Day, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden invites visitors to celebrate the genius of modern design Monday, Oct. 2, at “Donuts with the ‘Brutalist Donut,’” a day of free donuts and unconventional architecture tours.
Known best for the art displayed within its walls, the Hirshhorn will devote the day to spotlighting its sculptural Gordon Bunshaft-designed building, which opened to the public in 1974. Standing out among the classical buildings of the National Mall, the Hirshhorn—affectionately nicknamed the “Brutalist donut”—is one of the most popular examples of the Brutalist architectural style, which erupted from the 1950s through the 1970s.
For the second year in a row, visitors of all ages can drop by the museum to enjoy complimentary donuts, while supplies last, and partake in a wide-ranging schedule of architecture-themed activities led by Washington-based experts. Architecture, photography and art enthusiasts alike will be drawn in by local Instagram community IGDC to join in appreciating the monumental stature of this much-debated architectural style.
10 a.m.: For a special edition of STORYTIME+, the museum’s youngest visitors are invited to explore architecture through a read-aloud of Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty and a hands-on building activity.
For all ages
12:30 p.m.: Architecture specialist Amanda Hurley talks Brutalism and color, expanding on her Washington Post Magazine article arguing in favor of preserving brutalist architecture in Washington.
1–1:10 p.m.: Visitors can witness the motorized magic of “The Project for the Preservation of Natural Resources” as the miniature model—complete with working windmills and running water—comes to life in the exhibition “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects.”
2 p.m.: A Gallery Guide-led tour will explore architecture-inspired art on view, including the fantastical world of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s models in “The Utopian Projects.”
4 p.m.: Kelsey Keith, editor-in-chief of Curbed, debates the good, bad, beautiful and ugly of Brutalism, and the Hirshhorn’s groundbreaking design in architecture history.
6:15 p.m.: Deane Madsen (@deane_madsen), editor of Architect magazine, will lead an IGDC (@igdc) brutalist Instameet tour #atHirshhorn. Founder of the Instagram account @brutalistdc, Madsen will explore the exterior and lush garden at sunset.
About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year. For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
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