Hirshhorn Museum, Armed With $7.1 Million, Aims to Go Global

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Credit...Marge Ely for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Friday announced additional steps in its effort to transform the national museum for modern and contemporary art into a more globally focused institution.

The museum — based in Washington — said it had appointed four new trustees to its 28-member board, including two from China and Australia, and that it had acquired works by international artists, including the video artist and photographer Shirin Neshat, who was born in Iran; the Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko; and Ed Atkins of Britain.

The Hirshhorn is currently presenting an exhibition of the work of the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.

Melissa Chiu, who took over as director of the museum in 2014, said: “Contemporary art is a completely global and international phenomenon today. We are looking at the Hirshhorn playing a central role in that conversation about contemporary culture.”

The museum has raised $7.1 million through private fund-raising this year, which it described as the most it had ever raised in a single year. Ms. Chiu said the museum had turned to new sources of money from overseas, as well as donors in the United States.