The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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This seminar focuses on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum located in Washington, D.C. Beginning with the historical background for how the museum was founded, we will explore not only its evolution from its groundbreaking in 1985 and inauguration in 1993 but also the different types of exhibitions and commissions that it has hosted over the years.

In addition to discussing the museum's permanent exhibitions and James Ingo Freed's carefully researched architectural design for the museum, we will also examine the more contemporary artworks commissioned by the museum: Ellsworth Kelly's Memorial, Sol LeWitt's Consequence, Joel Shapiro's Loss and Regeneration, and Richard Serra's Gravity. We will discuss how the USHMM is both a museum and a monument, as well as the ways in which holocaust education continues to change as we grow more distant in time from the events. Finally, we will think about ways in which this museum interfaces with broader issues connected to genocide, racism, and more in the twenty-first century.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art and architecture, Dr. Jennie Hirsh, this Conversation will introduce learners to the museum and its collections as well as how it fits into the larger complex of museums on America's National Mall. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for how this museum explains the story of the Holocaust through multi-media exhibitions and historical artifacts.

For curious travelers seeking to explore the Smithsonian Museums and National Mall in person, we invite you to learn more about our private tours of Washington, DC. 

Jennie Hirsh (Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College) is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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