Richard Koshalek Resigns as Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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  • The Smithsonian announces the resignation of Richard Koshalek, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (HMSG). Koshalek joined the Smithsonian as director of the HMSG in April 2009, and has helped bring to life installations including "Doug Aitken: SONG 1" which covered the building with moving images set to sound; "Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt" which covered the museum's lower level lobby in giant text-printed vinyl; and "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" the first North American survey of the career of the artist.
  • Koshalek's most ambitious project was the creation of "The Bubble," a temporary, inflatable blue structure that would flow through the opening of the museum's roof and spill off to the side of the museum to provide space for two months of creative thinking. The space would house lectures and act as a think tank to stimulate discussions about art. Ideas for "The Bubble," designed by architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, began circulating in 2009. However, funding and structural concerns have resulted in a slow development. On May 23, 2013, the Hirshhorn's Board of Trustees put the development of "The Bubble" up for a vote. The board could not reach a decision. Due to this decision and other issues Koshalek chose to resign from his position.


  • Koshalek, Richard
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • SI Email Announcements, "Message from the Under Secretary: Richard Koshalek Resigns," May 23, 2013.
  • Lonnae O'Neal Parker, "Hirshhorn Director Plans to Resign After Board Splits on 'Bubble' Project," Washington Post, May 23, 2013, Washington Post online.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


May 23, 2013


  • Art
  • Art museums
  • Art, American
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Resignations
  • Museum directors
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Art Museums
  • Art museum curators
  • Art museum directors
  • Art, Modern


  • United States
  • Washington (D.C.)

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