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Do Orchids Belong in a Sculpture Museum? by Susan Harris


Boy, do they ever! At least in the Brutalist bunker that is the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall.

The orchid show, a yearly event put on by the Smithsonian and the U.S. Botanic Garden, is described as “colorful time-based installations, constantly changing throughout the exhibition’s four-month run. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the exotic assemblage as a whole as well as each orchid as it stands in that moment, and return again and again to enjoy the display as it evolves. Experience your own moment knowing there will never be another one exactly like it.”

Here’s the “moment” I experienced after walking in the front door of the museum, and I loved it.




I quickly exited, though, not tempted to explore the modern sculpture inside the museum. Makes me wonder how many passerby are tempted by this display outside the front door. Not me.


I prefer seeing sculpture outdoors in settings like this sunken Sculpture Garden, which is the only part of the Hirshhorn I ever visit. My favorite piece is Joan Miro’s “Lunar Bird” placed in a sea of stipa grass.

Do Orchids Belong in a Sculpture Museum? originally appeared on Garden Rant on March 3, 2017.

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About Ashraf Akkilah

Ashraf Akkilah
Architecture and design is my passion. I'm an architect who is interested in building design and decor trends. I'm also interested in sculpture design and landscaping. I'm "outdoor" architect who love to be involved in the project site and supervise finishing and final touches works. I had contributed to many construction and decor projects.

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