Olga Hirshhorn

Olga Hirshhorn (1920–2015)

Martin Weil reports in the Washington Post that the philanthropist and collector Olga Hirshhorn, widow of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s founder Joseph Hirshhorn, died over the weekend in Naples, Florida.

Hirshhorn was close with some of the twentieth century’s most important artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso, the latter of which signed one of his works “To Olga with love.” Born in 1920 in Greenwich, Connecticut as Olga Zatorsky to immigrants from Eastern Europe, she founded an agency that serviced wealthy residents of the town and it was through his admiration for her business acumen that Hirshhorn was drawn to her. After Joseph Hirshhorn’s death in 1981, she carried on with their collection and philanthropy, including serving on the Hirshhorn Museum’s board as well as the board of the Corcoran School of Art in addition to supporting many other museum projects, art associations, and women’s groups. Her own personal collection of art has a permanent home at the Baker Museum in Naples.