Since we’re on the subject of art, check out what DC’s Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden used to look like:
No wonder they shut it down in 1979 for a major redesign. Can you imagine what it would have felt like to be down in that place in the middle of July surrounded by all that paving, baking in the Washington summer sun? Plus, remember that the garden is sunken, so whatever moist and tepid “breezes” might have oozed off of the Anacostia wouldn’t even have reached this garden.
Look at the people in the picture (taken in 1974), pretending to be interested in the art instead of expressing their real feelings: “I’ve just been transported to the surface of Mercury and I’m head to toe in Polyester!”
Luckily, a designer named Lester Collins — who was familiar with the concept of vegetation — redesigned the garden to include trees, grass, and vines:
Ahhhhhh, isn’t that better? Now visitors to the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden can stroll in comfort….which makes it so much more pleasant to pretend they’re studying the sculpture.
Photo source: A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens, by Carole Ottensen