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Bob Edwards and Olga Hirshhorn

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) awarded its ninth Patron Award to Olga Hirshhorn on February 3, 2012. Artists, patrons, friends and colleagues of Ms. Hirshhorn joined the ISC’s Board of Trustees to honor the celebrated patron at the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art in beautiful Naples, Florida.

The Patron Award was established in 1993 by the ISC’s Board of Trustees to recognize individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the advancement of the arts. Olga and her late husband, Joseph Hirshhorn, were instrumental in the founding of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Ms. Hirshhorn has also donated her extraordinary private collection of decorative and fine art to the Corcoran Gallery of Art where she has served as a volunteer and Board member since the 1970’s.

Guests gathered in the Museum’s Garden Café for cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres. Warmth and friendship filled the air as guests greeted and visited with Ms. Hirshhorn and listened to the enjoyable sounds of a live jazz trio lead by Kevin Mauldin.

Speakers Kathleen van Bergen, CEO & President at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Marc LeBaron, ISC Board Chair, Robert Edwards, ISC Board of Trustees Member and friend of Ms. Hirshhorn, and Johannah Hutchison, ISC Executive Director, provided guests with historical and personal stories of Ms. Hirshhorn and her late husband. Although remarks were kept short, it was evident that there was much to be said of the Hirshhorn’s devotion to the appreciation and preservation of art.

Many colleagues and friends sent their congratulations to Ms. Hirshhorn. Richard Koshalek, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum said in a letter read at the ceremony, “Over the years you have been a resource to me and to the Museum's staff in many ways, not the least of which is your sharing of history, anecdotes, documents and photographs that are a now a key part of the Hirshhorn's story. Today, members of the Hirshhorn Board of Trustees, on which you serve as an Honorary Trustee, consider you not only a great resource, but just plain fun to have around!”

ISC Board Members Marc LeBaron and Robert Edwards presented the award to a grateful Ms. Hirshhorn. Guests were captivated as Ms. Hirshhorn recalled the time she and her husband spent with legendary artists, and with her husband, in particular her first time visiting Mr. Hirshhorn’s art-filled home. “I was overwhelmed at what I saw and said, ‘you've got a lot of statues,’ she said, “He shook his finger at me and said, ‘I don't have statues. I have sculpture.’” From then on, Ms. Hirshhorn became an active member of the art community, and still is today.

The reception closed with congratulations and lingering guests engaging one another with stories about the Hirshhorns. Most in attendance took advantage of the Museum’s extended hours for the occasion, as Ms. Hirshhorn recently donated over 200 artworks to what is now a replica of Olga Hirshhorn’s art-packed house known as “The Mouse House.” The space features intimate-sized works by Picasso, Calder, Giacometti, de Kooning and many others.

2012 Patron Award in the media

NAPLES FLORIDA WEEKLY | The International Sculpture Center Honors Olga Hirshhorn at the Naples Museum of Art

GO NAPLES | Hirshhorn Honored

UP OUT NEW YORK CITY | 2012 International Sculpture Center Patron Award Honoring Ulga Hirshhorn