Hirshhorn Plaza

Capturing the Contemporary is a collaborative initiative among Hirshhorn conservators, curators, educators, and other staff to engage in a series of preservation-focused dialogues with artists about their works in the collection.

It has become globally recognized that artist interviews are an essential component in the conservation of modern and contemporary artworks. Artists continue to push boundaries by exploring unconventional materials and fabrication techniques. Further complications have arisen with the advent of installation and conceptual art. Communication with the artist is often necessary to elucidate not just how a work was made but also which components or qualities are central to its meaning, thus requiring preservation.

For access to interview videos and transcripts, send a request to hmsgcollections@si.edu.

Janine Antoni
February 11, 2015

Jae Ko
November 7, 2014

Claes Oldenburg
November 6, 2014

Jennie C. Jones
September 13, 2014

Siebren Versteeg
September 12, 2014

Artist Interview Program: Robin RoseRobin Rose
March 6, 2014

Jake ChapmanJake Chapman
December 11, 2013

Raphael Montañez Ortiz Piano Destruction Concert BannerRaphael Montañez Ortiz
October 25, 2013 

Ann Hamilton Headshot MobileAnn Hamilton
May 18, 2013

Dan SteinhilberDan Steinhilber
May 9, 2013

Kota Ezawa’s self-portrait (detail) from "History of Photography Remix," slide projection, 2004–06. From the Hirshhorn’s collection. Courtesy of the artistKota Ezawa
May 2, 2013

Maggie MichaelMaggie Michael
March 21, 2013

Meet the Artist: ChristoChristo
March 28, 2013

Andrea WayAndrea Way
February 18, 2013

Vito Acconci and Ai WeiWeiVito Acconci
January 17, 2013

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships’ Conservation of Museum Collections Program provided funding for conservation fellow Steven O’Banion to launch the Artist Interview Program. Nicholas Kaplan and Matthew Jex generously volunteered their time to film and edit the interviews. The Artist Interview Program is currently overseen by conservator Briana Feston-Brunet.