Friday, September 4, 2009

The Mouse House

I am always interested in how people actually live with thier art collections. This is a recent article from about collectors and their small space (500 SF, which makes even my house seem large).

GREENWICH, Conn. — Apartment dwellers who worry that they don’t have enough room to display art should take a trip to “The Mouse House: Art From the Collection of Olga Hirshhorn,” at the Bruce Museum here. Ms. Hirshhorn managed to pack some 200 works of art into a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Washington.
Of course, it isn’t her primary residence. Ms. Hirshhorn and her husband, Joseph, whose collection is now housed on the National Mall as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, had art-filled homes in other cities. But after Mr. Hirshhorn died in 1981, she wanted a cozy pied-à-terre as a base for frequent visits to friends in the capital.
The Mouse House began life as a garage built for one of the earliest electric cars. It was part of Argyle House, a Beaux-Arts mansion on Embassy Row. (A stone sculpture of a cat on the mansion’s roof was the inspiration for the smaller house’s nickname.)
Converted by the architect Richard Ridley into a 500-square-foot triplex full of nooks and crannies, the Mouse House, as Ms. Hirshhorn calls it, proved to be an ideal backdrop for the small sculptures, drawings and decorative objects acquired by the Hirshhorns over the years.
Many hold personal as well as aesthetic value. Among the contents are drawings inscribed to Ms. Hirshhorn by de Kooning and Picasso, and minuscule Calders and Giacomettis obtained while socializing with the artists in Paris and on the Riviera.

Read the Rest of the Story Here.

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