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.