An avid appreciator of the arts, Binta Robinson benefits from the rich cultural atmosphere of Washington D.C. One among many examples of the area’s artistic venues is the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), whose collected works form the core of the museum’s collection, made his fortune in mining. He began acquiring paintings by 20th Century artists such as Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper, and Larry Rivers. Hirshhorn’s interests also included earlier artists such as Thomas Eakins. Possibly the most renowned part of his collection features modern sculptors encompassing Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder.
Hirshhorn donated his artwork to the Smithsonian Institution in the 1960s, when Congress established the museum. Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft received the design assignment. His buildings typically promoted form over function; the Hirshhorn Museum resembles a large, cylindrical drum built above a green space for sculpture.
After the groundbreaking in 1969, Hirshhorn continued to purchase art and donate it to the museum. Ultimately the museum’s holdings exceeded 12,000 artworks.