Joseph H. Hirshhorn yesterday donated another 56 works of art from his private collection to the Smithsonian gallery that bears his name on the Mall.

Thirty are works on paper, among them 10 watercolors and a color pencil drawing by Raphael Soyer, adding to the museum's already considerable acquisitions by this artist. Included is a sculpture by Alexander Calder called "Critter with the Mobile Top," a life-sized figurative work cut from sheet metal, that is a combination of the artist's stabile and mobile forms.

The bequest has the effect of giving the museum's collection further depth, rather than changing its character.

Also in the package is Kenneth Noland's painting "Via Breeve," a play on the words "Vida Breve," that is a 1968 abstraction with horizontal stripes extended across 20 feet of canvas.

The Joseph Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden already contains 6,000 works given by Hirshhorn. Nineteen artists are represented in the group announced yesterday, most of them Americans. There are 12 paintings, eight sculptures, three collages and three African works as well as the work on paper. It is the largest single donation by Hirshhorn since the museum opened in 1974.

"The Calder is a very amusing piece that was created later than the original Hirshhorn gift to the gallery," said Abram Lerner, director. "All of these works come from the (Hirshhorn) foundation and we had never seen them before," said Lerner. "I have no idea what's there, not since the basic bequest of 1966. But he seems to be giving as the collection grows. This one is a weighty, stupendous gift. It will go up at various times, depending upon which seems right."

Among the other paintings are four geometric abstactions by the late Burgoyne Diller, painted in the late '50s and early '60s, a 1955 painting by the French painter Jean Dubuffet and a 1973 group portrait by Soyer that includes artist Philip Pearlstein and Moses Soyer.

The collages are by French surrealist Andre Masson and Louise Nevelson, the noted sculptor in wood.

There is also a bust of J. A. Houdon, the noted sculpture of late 18th century France, known in this country for his renderings of Benjamin Franklin. In addition are small-scale contemporary works by Ernest Trova, Jack Zajac, the late Saul Baizerman and Canadian artist Sorel Etrog.

Also donated were six Polaroid prints by Licas Samaras and an optical color abstraction by Richard Anuskiewicz.

Further artists include the Swedish painter Olle Baertling, the Chilean realist Claudio Bravo, Herman Rose, Lester Johnson and Turku Turner.

The Soyer works will go into a special exhibition honoring the artist's 80th birthday later this year. CAPTION: Picture 1, Details from two Hirshhorn donations: "Critter with Mobile Top," by Alexander Calder; Picture 2, "Interplay," by Burgoyne Diller; Picture 3, "Among the other paintings are a 1973 group portrait by Soyer that includes the artist Philip Pearlstein and Moses Soyer."