But is it Art?

Do Orchids Belong in a Sculpture Museum?


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.

Posted by on March 3, 2017 at 8:57 am, in the category But is it Art?.

4 responses to “Do Orchids Belong in a Sculpture Museum?”

  1. Tomatt says:

    A rather snide attitude towards art.

  2. Rachel says:

    Interesting take on the Orchids.Now,that’s what I call “nature meets the art”.
    I agree.That’s what I love about Gardent Rant,they always offer new and refreshing which stirs the reader’s imagination.

  3. Spectacular! Which I was going to be in the area soon.

  4. Sandy Lentz says:

    Art is such a wonderful thing! What speaks to one person has nothing to say to another. We visit Washington often: our granddaughter, son and daughter-in-law live there. We’re really looking forward to that Japanese artist’s sculpture show. Our kids loved it. I wasn’t aware of the orchids. Now we’ll see those, too, and have long and energetic family discussions about whether flowers are “art” and shouldn’t this show be at the Botanic Garden and what is “art” anyway.??
    I really enjoy the Rant, both the contents and the variety of voices.

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