Smithsonian Institution Archives

Abram Lerner Oral History Interviews, 1998

9 results in SIA.FARU9600 for "Lerner, Abram"
Discusses the design, installation, and opening of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, reminiscences of staff, the board of trustees, artists, and critics; the opening of the museum, and early exhibitions, including: architect Gordon Bunschaft's vision for the Hirshhorn building; the installation of the collection for the opening of the museum; reminiscences of staff Michael Shapiro, Cynthia Jaffee McCabe, and Inez Garson; the plan and reconfiguration of the Sculpture Garden; the role of the Smithsonian in the new museum; the purpose of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Board of Trustees; reflections on the political climate during the 1970s; the initial objections toward the Hirshhorn Museum prior to its opening; hearings on the museum by the U.S. Congress; moving the collection to Washington, D.C.; the Bicentennial of the American Revolution exhibitions; public attendance and response once the museum opened; ideas on the depth of the collections and the role that research plays in a museum; the The Noble Buyer: John Quinn, Patron of the Avant-Garde exhibition; Hirshhorn's collection of Benin art now housed at the National Museum of African Art; the article by Harold Rosenberg on the opening of the museum; John Beardsley and the Probing the Earth: Contemporary Land Projects exhibition; reminiscences of the sculptor Henry Moore; the exhibition interests of Charles W. Millard, III, the first Chief Curator; The Avant Garde in Russia exhibition and the play Victory Over the Sun; reminiscences of artist Larry Rivers; exhibitions curated by Joseph Shannon, such as the R. B. Kitaj exhibition; the obligation to show overseas exhibitions; the installation of the Jesus Raphael Soto retrospective; the Bicentennial exhibition openings; The Sources of Country Music (Thomas Hart Benton's final mural) exhibition; personal recollections of Thomas Hart Benton and American mural painting; the Raphael Soyer exhibitions; the Smithsonian underground complex; the curatorial staff; the Hirshhorn film program; acquisition of Action in Chains (L'Action Enchainee) Monument to Louis-Blanqui by Aristide Maillol; reminiscences of registrars Brian Kavanaugh and Doug Robinson; reminiscences of artists Fernando Botero and Raphael Soyer; foreign dignitaries; the di Suvero dedication ceremony; the Hirshhorn Holiday program; and reminiscences of Steven E. Weil.
Discusses the early exhibitions, trustees, acquisitions and gifts, modern art, S. Dillon Ripley's efforts to persuade Hirshhorn to choose Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian to house his collection; and life in Washington, D.C., including: the Jesus Raphael Soto retrospective and Elie Nadelman exhibition in 1975;George Heard Hamilton, an early trustee of the Hirshhorn; Lerner's thoughts on selling or deaccessioning pieces from the collection; the variety of exhibitions shown at the Hirshhorn; curator Charles W. Millard, III, and his influence on Hirshhorn exhibitions and acquisitions; the Saul Steinberg, David Levine, David Hockney, and Josef Albers exhibitions; commemoration of the Josef Albers Learning Never Ends stamp, in 1980; the Brancusi as Photographer, The Fifties: Aspects of Painting in New York, and the Edwin Dickinson: Selected Landscapes exhibitions; the site for the National Gallery Sculpture Garden and Lerner's thoughts on the design of the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden; the modern collection of the National Gallery of Art and other museums; a list of acquisitions to the collection and reminiscences about artists and donors; the work of the artist Gregory Gillespie; Lerner's views on contemporary painting and exhibiting the work of younger artists; reflections on the first Directions exhibit series; his opinions of art after Abstract Expressionism; reminiscences of Joshua Taylor of the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum); Marvin Sadik of the National Portrait Gallery; Lisa Suter Taylor from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Laughlin Philips of the Philips Gallery; collector David Lloyd Kreeger, and Congressman Sidney R. Yates; social life in Washington, including dinners with ambassadors and cultural attachs; scouting various locations and offers to house the collection outside the United States in Italy, London, Israel, and Canada; S. Dillon Ripley and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson's role in securing the Hirshhorn collection for the Smithsonian; reminiscences of S. Dillon Ripley, Mary Livingston Ripley and family; reminiscences of other acquaintances in Washington; and the design of the logo for the museum.