Lawrence Weiner, A RUBBER BALL THROWN ON THE SEA, Cat. No. 146, 1969. Installation view of At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 2014. Photo: Cathy Carver

In celebration of the Museum’s 40th anniversary, the Hirshhorn completed the first comprehensive renovation of the Third Level galleries, returning the sweeping, majestic spaces to architect Gordon Bunshaft’s original design.

The first exhibition in the new galleries was At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection, which revealed a fresh perspective on the Hirshhorn’s world-class holdings of modern and contemporary art. The title of the show accentuated the Museum’s role as a dynamic hub where diverse ideas converge and new connections are made between artists and audiences. Visitors experienced a thought-provoking array of works arranged in thematic groupings that brought together artists from a variety of generations, backgrounds, and approaches. Included were favorite artworks that had not been on view in years, such as large-scale installations by Spencer Finch, Robert Gober, Jannis Kounellis, Bruce Nauman, and Ernesto Neto, as well as paintings and sculptures by Janine Antoni, Aligheiro e Boetti, Cai Guo-Qiang, Isa Genzken, Alfred Jensen, and Brice Marden, among others. New hard-surface floors made it possible for the first time to show floor-bound sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Katharina Fritsch, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, and Richard Long in these galleries. This installation also occasioned a brand-new iteration of two major text pieces by Lawrence Weiner, which enlivened the walls and windows of the Abram Lerner Room and were visible from the National Mall.

At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection was organized by curator Evelyn Hankins and associate curator Melissa Ho. The exhibition was made possible in part by support from the Estate of Frank B. Gettings in memory of Nancy Kirkpatrick and Frank Gettings, the Holenia Trust, and members of the Hirshhorn Annual Circle Program.