May 21, 2024
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by First Lady Jill Biden at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden Groundbreaking

Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Lonnie, for that introduction and for your remarkable motivation to ensuring that all people has accessibility to our nation’s heritage and culture.

Melissa, your eyesight and management have introduced much more men and women than ever to this institution.

And my pricey pal Ellen—thank you for inviting me to share this specific minute with all of you.

I’m honored to be joined by your Excellencies—and grateful to all people who has gathered listed here, with us, right now.

A couple of weeks ago, just after a working day of midterm campaigning in New Hampshire, we ended the working day in New York Town. It had presently been pretty prolonged day—but I did not come to feel completely ready to go to my hotel. I required something much more than rest.

I understood that Alex Katz was showing at the Guggenheim and it was very likely my only “free” evening in NYC for a lengthy when.

So, we went.

And as I walked as a result of his functions, I felt myself breathe out the buzz of the day.

I stopped wondering about tomorrow’s politics and the speeches I would give, the papers I however experienced to grade for my other job. And alternatively, identified myself cooled by the rain-blues that surrounded me: warmed by walls of sunshine yellow, lost in conversation with each and every pastel individual who stared back again at me from the canvas.

I was nowhere but existing.

In a earth that asks us to sprint from second to moment—from meeting to meeting—art stops us in our tracks.

It feeds our spirits when we’re hungry for a thing a lot more. It demonstrates the contours of our sorrows and joys, so that we know we aren’t alone. It brings us again to the attractiveness and humanity in each moment.

Art matters.

And that is mirrored by the placement of this historic museum, in the heart of our capital on the National Mall, where by we exhibit what helps make our nation exclusive: our people, our leaders, our background, and our democracy.

For nearly 50 decades, thanks to so many of you, the Hirshhorn has introduced some of the most progressive and visionary operates of artwork to Us residents and site visitors from all-around the world.

And with this renewed sculpture backyard, attendees will be ready to knowledge it in new, more obtainable means.

This undertaking will generate a spot which will attract extra persons to the treasures inside—where they are welcomed to stop, and sit, and reflect.

This back garden invitations all people to take a breath, appear inside of ourselves, and experience existence in the second.

As several of you know, First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson was a vital figure in the creation of the Hirshhorn.

She as soon as explained, “Art is the window to a man’s soul. Without the need of it, he would by no means be ready to see outside of his immediate world nor could the globe see the gentleman inside.”

So, whether or not we stop by this backyard garden for just a moment—or halt for a while and contemplate what lies beyond the limits of our imaginations—we shine a minimal brighter when we are here.

And when we go away, we have that light-weight with us, looking at the environment around us in new, much more stunning colors.

Thank you.