Welcome to the Hirshhorn Museum's Plaza
First opened in 1974, the Hirshhorn's plaza displays recent sculptures by international artists. More than 400,000 people visit the sculpture garden and plaza each year. So while we invite you to look, relax, study, stroll, sketch, and take photographs, we ask that you please do not touch the sculptures.
Sculptures are more fragile than most people realize. Steel and other metal works are made from several pieces welded together. These connections can weaken and break when weight is applied. Bronze sculptures are actually hollow casts with thin surfaces that are easily dented or scrathced. In addition, all outdoor sculptures suffer from urban air pollution, so we protect them with a delicate coating of clear wax. But this invisible protectant erodes when touched, even lightly, leaving that part of the piece exposed to the elements. Also, fingernails and jewelry may cause tiny scratches that can never be fixed. For these reasons, climbing on, sitting on, or leaning against any sculpture is not permitted.
Please help preserve these remarkable artworks for future generations.