"To some degree, the very characteristics that promised to make the bubble easier to build ultimately handicapped its fund-raising ability. Because the structure was temporary — Mr. Koshalek envisioned inflating the pavilion designed by the New York firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro in May and October — the museum was able to avoid the layers of approval usually required for any structure destined for the National Mall." — The New York Times
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Wednesday finally abandoned its long-planned project to cover the museum’s interior courtyard in Washington D.C. with a distinctive, temporary inflatable bubble.
Citing financial uncertainties, Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Institution’s under secretary for history, art and culture, made the announcement. He said outgoing director Richard Koshalek, who resigned last month after failing to receive full support for the bubble... — artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com
Richard Koshalek, the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, said on Thursday that he was resigning after the board of trustees failed to reach a consensus on the future of a long-planned project to cover the museum’s interior courtyard with a temporary inflatable bubble. — artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com
The Hirshhorn Museum’s proposed Seasonal Inflatable Structure, also known as “the Bubble,” a project announced in 2009 and intended as an architecturally and culturally transformative space on the Mall, would operate at a loss in each of three scenarios examined in an assessment done by the Smithsonian. — washingtonpost.com
As a public-art stunt, the Seasonal Inflatable is troubling. The Hirshhorn should build it anyway. — Washington City Paper
To fund the Bubble, the museum originally turned to Bloomberg, planning to call it the Bloomberg Balloon in honor of a $1 million (or greater) gift. But, perhaps tellingly, the Hirshhorn has not consistently referred to the Bloomberg Balloon as such, suggesting there may still be room—or the need—for a larger donor. Diminishing federal support certainly won’t fund the Bubble, and to date, the museum's board has not stepped up to bridge the funding gap. — tnr.com
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