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The Hirshhorn Artist Interview Program: Capturing the Contemporary

Capturing the Contemporary is a collaborative initiative among Hirshhorn conservators, curators, educators, and other staff to engage in a series of preservation-focused dialogues with artists about their works in the collection.

It has become globally recognized that artist interviews are an essential component in the conservation of modern and contemporary artworks. Artists continue to push boundaries by exploring unconventional materials and fabrication techniques. Further complications have arisen with the advent of installation and conceptual art. Communication with the artist is often necessary to elucidate not just how a work was made but also which components or qualities are central to its meaning, thus requiring preservation.

For access to interview videos and transcripts, send a request to

Janine Antoni, February 11, 2015

Jae Ko, November 7, 2014

Claes Oldenburg, November 6, 2014

Jennie C. Jones, September 13, 2014

Siebren Versteeg, September 12, 2014

 Robin RoseRobin Rose, March 6, 2014

Jake ChapmanJake Chapman, December 11, 2013

Raphael Montañez Ortiz Piano Destruction Concert BannerRaphael Montañez Ortiz, October 25, 2013 

Ann Hamilton Headshot MobileAnn Hamilton, May 18, 2013

Dan SteinhilberDan Steinhilber, May 9, 2013

Kota Ezawa’s self-portrait (detail) from "History of Photography Remix," slide projection, 2004–06. From the Hirshhorn’s collection. Courtesy of the artistKota Ezawa, May 2, 2013

Maggie MichaelMaggie Michael, March 21, 2013

 ChristoChristo, March 28, 2013

Andrea WayAndrea Way, February 18, 2013

Vito Acconci and Ai WeiWeiVito Acconci, January 17, 2013

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships’ Conservation of Museum Collections Program provided funding for conservation fellow Steven O’Banion to launch the Artist Interview Program. Nicholas Kaplan and Matthew Jex generously volunteered their time to film and edit the interviews. The Artist Interview Program is currently overseen by conservator Briana Feston-Brunet.