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Donations, Valuations, Restoration and Submissions of Art FAQs

How can I find the value of an art work?

As a Federal organization, the Hirshhorn’s staff may not authenticate or make monetary appraisals or estimates on any works of art for any purpose. Reputable sources for this type of assistance include major auction houses such as Christie’s International and Sotheby’s, as well as the Art Dealers Association and the Appraisers Association of America.

Can the Hirshhorn restore my work of art?

No, but the Hirshhorn Conservation Lab may assist scholars with general questions about the physical condition or preservation of artworks. Our conservators’ primary responsibility is the physical well-being of works of art that are permanently or temporarily in the museum’s care. Scholars may contact the Conservation Lab at hmsgcollections@si.edu with specific questions.

Did Joseph Hirshhorn pay for the museum?

No, the Hirshhorn Museum is primarily federally funded, as it is a part of the Smithsonian Institution. Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981) gave his extensive art collection to the nation in 1966 and later contributed $1 million to the Smithsonian Institution toward the construction of the Hirshhorn building designed by Gordon Bunshaft.

Does the museum allow videotaping or photography?

The Hirshhorn does not allow videotaping inside the museum. Photography without the use of a flash is allowed only in the Hirshhorn’s collection galleries and not within special exhibitions, unless otherwise noted. Flash photography is prohibited at all times. Tripods are not permitted inside the Museum or Sculpture Garden.

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