Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as The Guggenheim, is an art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum was established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, under the guidance of its first director, the artist Hilla von Rebay. It adopted its current name after the death of its founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim, in 1952.

In 1959, the museum moved from rented space to its current building, a landmark work of 20th-century architecture. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the cylindrical building, wider at the top than the bottom, was conceived as a "temple of the spirit". Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under the ceiling skylight. The building underwent extensive expansion and renovations in 1992 (when an adjoining tower was built) and from 2005 to 2008.

The museum's collection has grown organically, over eight decades, and is founded upon several important private collections, beginning with Solomon R. Guggenheim's original collection. The collection is shared with the museum's sister museums in Bilbao, Spain, and elsewhere. In 2013, nearly 1.2 million people visited the museum, and it hosted the most popular exhibition in New York City.[3]

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum Logo
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (48059131351)
View from Fifth Avenue (2019)
Location1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°46′59″N 73°57′32″W / 40.782975°N 73.958992°WCoordinates: 40°46′59″N 73°57′32″W / 40.782975°N 73.958992°W
TypeArt museum
Visitors953,925 (2016)[1]
DirectorRichard Armstrong
Public transit accessSubway: "4" train"5" train"6" train"6" express train trains at 86th Street
Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M86 SBS
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is located in Manhattan
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is located in New York City
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
ArchitectFrank Lloyd Wright
Architectural styleModern
NRHP reference #05000443[2]


Early years and Hilla Rebay

Solomon R. Guggenheim, a member of a wealthy mining family, had been collecting works of the old masters since the 1890s. In 1926, he met artist Hilla von Rebay,[4] who introduced him to European avant-garde art, in particular abstract art that she felt had a spiritual and utopian aspect (non-objective art).[4] Guggenheim completely changed his collecting strategy, turning to the work of Wassily Kandinsky, among others. He began to display his collection to the public at his apartment in the Plaza Hotel in New York City.[4][5] As the collection grew, he established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, in 1937, to foster the appreciation of modern art.[5]

The Museum of Non-Objective Painting

Albert Gleizes, 1915, Composition pour Jazz, oil on cardboard, 73 x 73 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Albert Gleizes, 1915, Composition for "Jazz", oil on cardboard, 73 × 73 cm

The foundation's first venue for the display of art, the "Museum of Non-Objective Painting", opened in 1939 under the direction of Rebay, in midtown Manhattan.[6] Under Rebay's guidance, Guggenheim sought to include in the collection the most important examples of non-objective art available at the time by early modernists such as Rudolf Bauer, Rebay, Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.[4][5][7]

By the early 1940s, the foundation had accumulated such a large collection of avant-garde paintings that the need for a permanent museum building had become apparent. In 1943, Rebay and Guggenheim wrote a letter to Frank Lloyd Wright asking him to design a structure to house and display the collection.[8] Wright accepted the opportunity to experiment with his organic style in an urban setting. It took him 15 years, 700 sketches, and six sets of working drawings to create the museum.[9]

In 1948, the collection was greatly expanded through the purchase of art dealer Karl Nierendorf's estate of some 730 objects, notably German expressionist paintings.[7] By that time, the foundation's collection included a broad spectrum of expressionist and surrealist works, including paintings by Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka and Joan Miró.[7][10] After Guggenheim's death in 1949, members of the Guggenheim family who sat on the foundation's board of directors had personal and philosophical differences with Rebay, and in 1952 she resigned as director of the museum.[11] Nevertheless, she left a portion of her personal collection to the foundation in her will, including works by Kandinsky, Klee, Alexander Calder, Albert Gleizes, Mondrian and Kurt Schwitters.[10] The museum was renamed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952.[11]


Rebay conceived of the space as a "temple of the spirit" that would facilitate a new way of looking at the modern pieces in the collection. She wrote to Wright that "each of these great masterpieces should be organized into space, and only you ... would test the possibilities to do so. ... I want a temple of spirit, a monument!"[12][13] The critic Paul Goldberger later wrote that, before Wright's modernist building, "there were only two common models for museum design: Beaux-arts Palace ... and the International Style Pavilion."[14] Goldberger thought the building a catalyst for change, making it "socially and culturally acceptable for an architect to design a highly expressive, intensely personal museum. In this sense almost every museum of our time is a child of the Guggenheim."[14]

The museum's atrium

From 1943 to early 1944, Wright produced four different sketches for the initial design. While one of the plans (scheme C) had a hexagonal shape and level floors for the galleries, all the others had circular schemes and used a ramp continuing around the building. He had experimented with the ramp design in 1948 at the V. C. Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco and on the house he completed for his son in 1952, the David and Gladys Wright House in Arizona.[15] Wright's original concept was called an inverted "ziggurat", because it resembled the steep steps on the ziggurats built in ancient Mesopotamia.[16] His design dispensed with the conventional approach to museum layout, in which visitors are led through a series of interconnected rooms and forced to retrace their steps when exiting.[17] Wright's plan was for the museum guests to ride to the top of the building by elevator, to descend at a leisurely pace along the gentle slope of the continuous ramp, and to view the atrium of the building as the last work of art. The open rotunda afforded viewers the unique possibility of seeing several bays of work on different levels simultaneously and even to interact with guests on other levels.[18]

At the same time, before settling on the site for the museum at the corner of 89th Street and the Museum Mile section of Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park, Wright, Rebay and Guggenheim considered numerous locations in Manhattan, as well as in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, overlooking the Hudson River.[19] Guggenheim felt that the site's proximity to Central Park was important; the park afforded relief from the noise, congestion and concrete of the city.[16] Nature also provided the museum with inspiration.[19] The building embodies Wright's attempts "to render the inherent plasticity of organic forms in architecture".[17] The Guggenheim was to be the only museum designed by Wright. The city location required Wright to design the building in a vertical rather than a horizontal form, far different from his earlier, rural works.[16][20]

Double spiral and helicoidal flight staircase at the entrance to the Vatican Museums designed by Giuseppe Momo 1932.
Staircase at the Vatican Museums designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932

The spiral design recalled a nautilus shell, with continuous spaces flowing freely one into another.[21] Even as it embraced nature, Wright's design also expresses his take on modernist architecture's rigid geometry.[21] Wright ascribed a symbolic meaning to the building's shapes. He explained, "these geometric forms suggest certain human ideas, moods, sentiments – as for instance: the circle, infinity; the triangle, structural unity; the spiral, organic progress; the square, integrity."[22] Forms echo one another throughout: oval-shaped columns, for example, reiterate the geometry of the fountain. Circularity is the leitmotif, from the rotunda to the inlaid design of the terrazzo floors.[19] Several architecture professors have speculated that the double spiral staircase designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932 at the Vatican Museums was an inspiration for Wright's ramp and atrium.[23][24][25] Jaroslav Josef Polívka assisted Wright with the structural design and managed to design the gallery ramp without perimeter columns.[26]

The Guggenheim's surface was made out of concrete to reduce the cost, inferior to the stone finish that Wright had wanted.[27] Wright proposed a red-colored exterior, which was never realized.[28] The small rotunda (or "Monitor building", as Wright called it) next to the large rotunda was intended to house apartments for Rebay and Guggenheim but instead became offices and storage space.[29] In 1965, the second floor of the Monitor building was renovated to display the museum's growing permanent collection, and with the restoration of the museum in 1990–92, it was turned over entirely to exhibition space and christened the Thannhauser Building, in honor of one of the most important bequests to the museum.[30] Wright's original plan for an adjoining tower, artists' studios and apartments went unrealized, largely for financial reasons, until the renovation and expansion.[18][31] Also in the original construction, the main gallery skylight had been covered, which compromised Wright's carefully articulated lighting effects. This changed in 1992 when the skylight was restored to its original design.[27]

Sweeney years and completion of construction

Guggenheim Museum construction LOC gsc.5a25494
Museum under construction in photo taken on Nov. 12, 1957

In 1953, the foundation's collecting criteria expanded under its new director, James Johnson Sweeney. Sweeney rejected Rebay's dismissal of "objective" painting and sculpture, and he soon acquired Constantin Brâncuși's Adam and Eve (1921), followed by works of other modernist sculptors, including Joseph Csaky, Jean Arp, Calder, Alberto Giacometti and David Smith.[7] Sweeney reached beyond the 20th century to acquire Paul Cézanne's Man with Crossed Arms (c. 1899).[7] The same year, the foundation also received a gift of 28 important works from the Estate of Katherine S. Dreier, a founder of America's first collection to be called a modern art museum, the Société Anonyme. Dreier had been a colleague of Rebay's. The works included Little French Girl (1914–18) by Brâncuși, an untitled still life (1916) by Juan Gris, a bronze sculpture (1919) by Alexander Archipenko and three collages (1919–21) by German Hanoverian Dadaist Schwitters. It also included works by Calder, Marcel Duchamp, El Lissitzky and Mondrian.[10] Among others, Sweeney also acquired the works of Alberto Giacometti, David Hayes, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.[32]

Sweeney oversaw the last half dozen years of the construction of the museum building, during which time he had an antagonistic relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright, especially regarding the building's lighting issues.[33][34] The distinctive cylindrical building turned out to be Wright's last major work, as the architect died six months before its opening.[35] From the street, the building looks like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, wider at the top than the bottom, displaying nearly all curved surfaces. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the typically rectangular Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright, who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art "look like a Protestant barn".[35] Internally, the viewing gallery forms a helical spiral ramp climbing gently from ground level to the skylight at the top.[35]

Criticisms and opening of the building

Guggenheim flw show
An interior view of the museum on a busy day

Even before it opened, the design polarized architecture critics.[35][36] Some believed that the building would overshadow the museum's artworks.[37][38] "On the contrary", wrote the architect, the design makes "the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before."[37] Other critics, and many artists, felt that it is awkward to properly hang paintings in the shallow, windowless, concave exhibition niches that surround the central spiral.[35] Prior to the opening of the museum twenty-one artists signed a letter protesting the display of their work in such a space.[35] Historian Lewis Mumford summed up the opprobrium:

Wright has allotted the paintings and sculptures on view only as much space as would not infringe upon his abstract composition. ... [He] created a shell whose form has no relation to its function and offered no possibility of future departure from his rigid preconceptions. [The promenade] has, for a museum, a low ceiling – nine feet eight inches [295 cm] [limiting painting size. The wall] slanted outward, following the outward slant of the exterior wall, and paintings were not supposed to be hung vertically or shown in their true plane but were to be tilted back against it. ... Nor [can a visitor] escape the light shining in his eyes from the narrow slots in the wall.[39]

On October 21, 1959, ten years after the death of Solomon Guggenheim and six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Museum first opened its doors to large crowds.[40][41] The building became widely praised[42][43][44] and inspired many other architects.[16]

Interno guggenheim
The skylight in the center of the museum

Messer years

Thomas M. Messer succeeded Sweeney as director of the museum (but not the foundation) in 1961 and stayed for 27 years, the longest tenure of any of the city's major arts institutions' directors.[45] When Messer took over, the museum's ability to present art at all was still in doubt due to the challenges presented by continuous spiral ramp gallery that is both tilted and has non-vertical curved walls.[46] It is difficult to properly hang paintings in the shallow, windowless exhibition niches that surround the central spiral: canvasses must be mounted raised from the wall's surface. Paintings hung slanted back would appear "as on the artist's easel". There is limited space within the niches for sculpture.[35]

Almost immediately, in 1962, Messer took a risk putting on a large exhibition that combined the Guggenheim's paintings with sculptures on loan from the Hirshhorn collection.[46] Three-dimensional sculpture, in particular, raised "the problem of installing such a show in a museum bearing so close a resemblance to the circular geography of hell", where any vertical object appears tilted in a "drunken lurch" because the slope of the floor and the curvature of the walls could combine to produce vexing optical illusions.[47] It turned out that the combination could work well in the Guggenheim's space, but, Messer recalled that at the time, "I was scared. I half felt that this would be my last exhibition."[46] Messer had the foresight to prepare by staging a smaller sculpture exhibition the previous year, in which he discovered how to compensate for the space's weird geometry by constructing special plinths at a particular angle, so the pieces were not at a true vertical yet appeared to be so.[47] In the earlier sculpture show, this trick proved impossible for one piece, an Alexander Calder mobile whose wire inevitably hung at a true plumb vertical, "suggesting hallucination" in the disorienting context of the tilted floor.[47]

The next year, Messer acquired a private collection from art dealer Justin K. Thannhauser for the museum's permanent collection.[48] These 73 works include Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and French modern masterpieces, including important works by Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Vincent van Gogh and 32 works by Pablo Picasso.[10][49] "Works and Process" is a series of performances at the Guggenheim begun in 1984.[50] The first season consisted of Philip Glass with Christopher Keene on Akhnaten and Steve Reich and Michael Tilson Thomas on The Desert Music.

Krens and expansion

Thomas Krens, director of the foundation from 1988 to 2008, led a rapid expansion of the museum's collections.[51] In 1991, he broadened its holdings by acquiring the Panza Collection. Assembled by Count Giuseppe di Biumo and his wife, Giovanna, the Panza Collection includes examples of Minimalist sculptures by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, and Minimalist paintings by Robert Mangold, Brice Marden and Robert Ryman, as well as an array of postminimal, conceptual, and perceptual art by Robert Morris, Richard Serra, James Turrell, Lawrence Weiner and others, notably American examples of the 1960s and 1970s.[10][52] In 1992, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation gifted 200 of his best photographs to the foundation. The works spanned his entire output, from his early collages, Polaroids, portraits of celebrities, self-portraits, male and female nudes, flowers and statues. It also featured mixed-media constructions and included his well-known 1998 Self-Portrait. The acquisition initiated the foundation's photography exhibition program.[10]

Also in 1992, the New York museum building's exhibition and other space was expanded by the addition of an adjoining rectangular tower that stands behind, and taller than, the original spiral, and a renovation of the original building.[31] The new tower was designed by the architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects,[53] who analyzed Wright's original sketches when they designed the 10-story limestone tower, which replaced a much smaller structure. It has four additional exhibition galleries with flat walls that are "more appropriate for the display of art".[18][31] In the original construction of the building, the main gallery skylight had been covered, which compromised Wright's carefully articulated lighting effects. This changed in 1992 when the skylight was restored to its original design.[27]

Gugenheim theater from back jeh
Peter B. Lewis Theater

To finance these moves, controversially, the foundation sold works by Kandinsky, Chagall and Modigliani to raise $47 million, drawing considerable criticism for trading masters for "trendy" latecomers. In The New York Times, critic Michael Kimmelman wrote that the sales "stretched the accepted rules of deaccessioning further than many American institutions have been willing to do."[27][54] Krens defended the action as consistent with the museum's principles, including expanding its international collection and building its "postwar collection to the strength of our pre-war holdings"[52] and pointed out that such sales are a regular practice by museums.[54] At the same time, he moved to expand the foundation's international presence by opening museums abroad.[55] Krens was also criticized for his businesslike style and perceived populism and commercialization.[56][57] One writer commented, "Krens has been both praised and vilified for turning what was once a small New York institution into a worldwide brand, creating the first truly multinational arts institution. ... Krens transformed the Guggenheim into one of the best-known brand name in the arts."[58]

Under Krens, the museum mounted some of its most popular exhibitions: "Africa: The Art of a Continent" in 1996; "China: 5,000 Years" in 1998, "Brazil: Body & Soul" in 2001; and "The Aztec Empire" in 2004.[59] It has shown unusual exhibitions on occasion, for example commercial art installations of motorcycles. The New Criterion's Hilton Kramer condemned "The Art of the Motorcycle"[56][60] A 2009 retrospective of Frank Lloyd Wright showcased the architect on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the building and was the museum's most popular exhibit since it began keeping such attendance records in 1992.

Sackler Center for Arts Education entrance view from 5th ave 88th street ramp March 2012
Students sketching at the entrance to the Sackler Center

In 2001, the museum opened the Sackler Center for Arts Education. The 8,200 square feet (760 m2) facility provides classes and lectures about the visual and performing arts and opportunities to interact with the museum's collections and special exhibitions through its labs, exhibition spaces, conference rooms and 266-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater.[61][62] It is located on the lower level of the museum, below the large rotunda and was a gift of the Mortimer D. Sackler family.[63] Also in 2001, the foundation received a gift of the large collection of the Bohen Foundation, which, for two decades, commissioned new works of art with an emphasis on film, video, photography and new media. Artists included in the collection are Pierre Huyghe and Sophie Calle.[4]

Exterior restoration

Between September 2005 and July 2008, the Guggenheim Museum underwent a significant exterior restoration to repair cracks and[64] modernize systems and exterior details.[65] In the first phase of this project, a team of restoration architects, structural engineers, and architectural conservators worked together to create a comprehensive assessment of the building's condition that determined the structure to be fundamentally sound. This initial condition assessment included:

  • the removal of paint from the original surface, revealing hundreds of cracks caused over the years, primarily by seasonal temperature fluctuations;[64]
  • detailed monitoring of the movement of selected cracks over 17 months;
  • impact-echo technology, in which sound waves are sent into the concrete and the rebound is measured to locate voids within the walls;
  • laser surveys of the exterior and interior surfaces, believed to be the largest laser model ever compiled;
  • core drilling to gather samples of the original concrete and other construction materials; and
  • testing of potential repair materials.[66]
1966 U.S. postage stamp honoring Wright

Much of the interior of the building was restored during the 1992 renovation and addition by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects. The 2005–2008 restoration primarily addressed the exterior of the original building and the infrastructure. This included the skylights, windows, doors, concrete and gunite facades and exterior sidewalk, as well as the climate-control. The goal was to preserve as much significant historical fabric of the museum as possible, while accomplishing necessary repairs and attaining a suitable environment for the building's continuing use as a museum.[67]

On September 22, 2008, the Guggenheim celebrated the completion of a three-year restoration project. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiated at the celebration that culminated with the premiere of artist Jenny Holzer's tribute For the Guggenheim,[68] a work commissioned in honor of Peter B. Lewis, who was a major benefactor in the Museum restoration project. Other supporters of the $29 million restoration included the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support was provided by the State of New York and MAPEI Corporation.[69] The museum was registered as a National Historic Landmark on October 6, 2008.[70]

Recent years

Richard Armstrong 2012
Richard Armstrong, 2012

In 2005, Krens won a dispute with billionaire philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, chairman of the foundation's Board of Directors and the largest contributor to the foundation in its history. Lewis resigned from the Board, expressing opposition to Krens' plans for further global expansion of the Guggenheim museums.[71] Also in 2005, Lisa Dennison, a longtime Guggenheim curator, was appointed director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Dennison resigned in July 2007, to work at the auction house Sotheby's.[72] Tensions between Krens and the Board continued, and in February 2008 Krens stepped down as the Director of the foundation, although he remains an advisor for international affairs.[73]

Richard Armstrong, formerly director of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art, became the fifth director of the museum on November 4, 2008. He had been director of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 12 years, where he had also served as chief curator and curator of contemporary art.[74] The chief curator and deputy director of the museum is Nancy Spector.[75]

In addition to its permanent collections, which continue to grow,[4] the foundation administers loan exhibitions and co-organizes exhibitions with other museums to foster public outreach.[76] In 2013, nearly 1.2 million people visited the museum, and its James Turrell exhibition was the most popular in New York City in terms of daily attendance.[3]

Selected works in the collection

Paul Cézanne, c.1899, Homme aux bras croisés (Man With Crossed Arms), oil on canvas, 92 x 72.7 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Paul Cézanne, c.1899, Homme aux bras croisés (Man With Crossed Arms), oil on canvas, 92 x 72.7 cm

Georges Braque, 1909 (September), Violin and Palette (Violon et palette, Dans l'atelier), oil on canvas, 91.7 x 42.8 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Georges Braque, 1909, Violin and Palette (Violon et palette, Dans l'atelier), oil on canvas, 91.7 x 42.8 cm

Wassily Kandinsky, 1910, Landscape with Factory Chimney, oil on canvas, 66.2 x 82 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Wassily Kandinsky, 1910, Landscape with Factory Chimney, oil on canvas, 66.2 x 82 cm

Franz Marc-The Yellow Cow-1911

Franz Marc, 1911, The Yellow Cow, oil on canvas, 140.5 x 189.2 cm

Juan Gris, 1911, Maisons à Paris (Houses in Paris), oil on canvas, 52.4 x 34.2 cm, Guggenheim Museum

Juan Gris, 1911, Maisons à Paris (Houses in Paris), 1911, oil on canvas, 52.4 x 34.2 cm

Fernand Léger, 1911-1912, Les Fumeurs (The Smokers), oil on canvas, 129.2 x 96.5 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Fernand Léger, 1911–12, Les Fumeurs (The Smokers), oil on canvas, 129.2 x 96.5 cm

Jean Metzinger, 1912, Femme à l'Éventail (Woman with a Fan), oil on canvas, 90.7 x 64.2 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Jean Metzinger, 1912, Femme à l'Éventail (Woman with a Fan), oil on canvas, 90.7 x 64.2 cm

Fernand Léger, 1912-13, Nude Model in the Studio (Le modèle nu dans l'atelier), oil on burlap, 128.6 x 95.9 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim

Fernand Léger, 1912–13, Nude Model in the Studio (Le modèle nu dans l'atelier), oil on burlap, 128.6 x 95.9 cm

Alexander Archipenko, 1913, Pierrot-carrousel, painted plaster, 61 × 48.6 × 34 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Reproduced in Archipenko-Album, 1921

Alexander Archipenko, 1913, Pierrot-carrousel, painted plaster, 61 × 48.6 × 34 cm

Marc Chagall, 1913, Paris par la fenêtre (Paris Through the Window), oil on canvas, 136 x 141.9 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Marc Chagall, 1913, Paris par la fenêtre (Paris Through the Window), oil on canvas, 136 x 141.9 cm

GUGG The Horse

Raymond Duchamp-Villon, 1914 (cast c.1930), Le cheval (The Horse), bronze, 43.6 × 41 cm

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Das Soldatenbad

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1915, The soldier bath or Artillerymen, oil on canvas, 140.3 × 151.8 cm

Albert Gleizes, 1915, Brooklyn Bridge, oil and gouache on canvas, 102 x 102 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Albert Gleizes, 1915, Brooklyn Bridge (Pont de Brooklyn), oil and gouache on canvas, 102 x 102 cm cm

Juan Gris, 1917, Compotier et nappe à carreaux, oil on wood panel, 80.6 x 53.9 cm, Guggenheim Museum

Juan Gris, 1917, Compotier et nappe à carreaux (Fruit Dish on a Checkered Tablecloth), oil on wood panel, 80.6 x 53.9 cm

Modigliani nude sdraiato

Amedeo Modigliani, 1917, Nude (Nu), oil on canvas, 73 × 116.7 cm


Theo van Doesburg, 1918, Composition XI, oil on canvas, 57 x 101 cm

Paul Klee, 1922, Red Balloon, oil on chalk-primed gauze, mounted on board, 31.7 x 31.1 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Paul Klee, 1922, Red Balloon (Roter Ballon) oil on chalk-primed gauze, mounted on board, 31.7 × 31.1 cm

See also



  1. ^ "Visitor figures 2016" (PDF). The Art Newspaper. April 2017. p. 14. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b "Top 100 Art Museum Attendance", The Art Newspaper, 2014, pp. 11 and 15, accessed July 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Exhibition of Works Reflecting the Evolution of the Guggenheim's Collection Opens in Bilbao",, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Biography: Solomon R. Guggenheim", Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Vail 2009, pp. 25, 36.
  7. ^ a b c d e Calnek, Anthony, et al. The Guggenheim Collection, pp. 39–40, New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2006
  8. ^ Vail 2009, p. 333.
  9. ^ "Guggenheim Architecture". Archived from the original on 2016-05-01. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Guggenheim Museum New York", Encyclopedia of Art, Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Biography: Hilla Rebay", Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  12. ^ Levine 1996, p. 299.
  13. ^ The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum, pp. 217–18, New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2009
  14. ^ a b "The Secret Life of Buildings: New York Public Library and Guggenheim Museum", Colebrook Bosson Saunders Products Ltd.. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Hitchcock, Henry-Russell (1981). Arquitectura de los siglos XIX y XX (6th ed.). Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra. p. 477. ISBN 9788437624464.
  16. ^ a b c d Storrer 2002, pp. 400–01
  17. ^ a b Levine 1996, p. 340.
  18. ^ a b c Perez, Adelyn. "AD Classics: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum", May 18, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  19. ^ a b c Ballon 2009, pp. 22–27
  20. ^ Since Wright was not licensed as an architect in New York, he relied on Arthur Cort Holden, of the architectural firm Holden, McLaughlin & Associates, to deal with New York City's Board of Standards and Appeals. Dal Co, Francesco (2017). The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright's Iconoclastic Masterpiece. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 58. ISBN 0300226055. OCLC 969981835.
  21. ^ a b Levine 1996, p. 301.
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  23. ^ Tanzj, Daniela; Bentivegna, Andrea (July 23, 2015). "The Vatican Museums and the Guggenheim: Two Ingenious Spirals of Art". La Voce di New York.
  24. ^ Hersey, George L. (1993). High Renaissance art in St. Peter's and the Vatican: an interpretative guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780226327822.
  25. ^ Mindel, Lee F. (February 28, 2013). "Compares the Oculi at the Vatican and the Guggenheim Museum". Architectural Digest.
  26. ^ Jaroslav J. Polívka, "What it's Like to Work with Wright" in Tejada, Susana, ed. (2000). Engineering the Organic: The Partnership of Jaroslav J. Polivka and Frank Lloyd Wright. Buffalo: State University of New York. pp. 34–35.
  27. ^ a b c d Sennott 2004, pp. 572–73
  28. ^ Bianchini, Riccardo. "The Guggenheim, an American revolution",, 2014, accessed July 5, 2014.
  29. ^ Levine 1996, p. 317.
  30. ^ Ballon 2009, pp. 59–61.
  31. ^ a b c Overview of firm's history, projects, etc. Gwathmey Siegel website
  32. ^ The Global Guggenheim, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Publications. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
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  • Ballon, Hillary; et al. (2009). The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Kumar, Lisa (2011). The Writers Directory. Detroit: St. James Press. ISBN 9781558628137.
  • Levine, Neil (1996). The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Sennott, R. Stephen (2004). Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture. 2. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn.
  • Spector, Nancy, ed. (2001). Guggenheim Museum Collection: A to Z. New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
  • Storrer, William Allin (2002). The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalogue. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Vail, Karole, ed. (2009). The Museum of Non-Objective Painting. New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

External links

External video
Art, Architecture, and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim, June 8, 2010
Frank Lloyd Wright, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smarthistory at Khan Academy
Brooklyn Bridge (Gleizes)

Brooklyn Bridge is a 1915 painting by the French artist, theorist and writer Albert Gleizes. Brooklyn Bridge was exhibited at the Montross Gallery, New York, 1916 (no. 40) along with works by Jean Crotti, Marcel Duchamp and Jean Metzinger.This is the first in a series of three highly abstract paintings by Gleizes of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was the most abstract painting of the bridge to date. Gleizes and the Italian-American artist Joseph Stella had been friends since 1915 and it has been of interest to compare this painting with Stella's Brooklyn Bridge of 1919-20.The American collector John Quinn acquired Brooklyn Bridge and several other works by Gleizes that had been on view at Montross Gallery, either during the exhibition or subsequently. In 1927, an exhibition and sale of Quinn's art collection took place in New York City. The sale was conducted by Otto Bernet and Hiram H. Parke at the American Art Galleries. A catalogue was published for the occasion by the American Art Association. Brooklyn Bridge (n. 263 of the catalogue) was purchased at the sale for $60.Brooklyn Bridge forms part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection. It was gifted to the museum by Solomon Guggenheim between 1937 (the year of the formation of the foundation) and 1949, or purchased by the foundation during those years. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Composition for "Jazz"

Composition for "Jazz", or Composition (For "Jazz"), is a 1915 painting by the French artist, theorist and writer Albert Gleizes. This Cubist work was reproduced in a photograph of Gleizes working on the painting in the Xeic York Herald, then published in The Literary Digest, 27 November 1915 (p. 1225). Composition for "Jazz" was purchased in 1938 by Solomon R. Guggenheim from Feragil Gallery, New York and forms part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Femme à l'Éventail

Femme à l'Éventail (also known as L'Éventail vert, Woman with a Fan, and The Lady) is an oil painting created in 1912 by the French artist and theorist Jean Metzinger (1883–1956). The painting was exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, 1912, Paris (hung in the decorative arts section inside the Salon Bourgeois of La Maison Cubiste, the Cubist House), and De Moderne Kunstkring, 1912, Amsterdam (L'éventail vert, no. 153). It was also exhibited at the Musée Rath, Geneva, Exposition de cubistes français et d'un groupe d'artistes indépendants, 3–15 June 1913 (L'éventail vert, no. 22). A 1912 photograph of Femme à l'Éventail hanging on a wall inside the Salon Bourgeois was published in The Sun (New York, N.Y.), 10 November 1912. The same photograph was reproduced in The Literary Digest, 30 November 1912.Metzinger's Cubist contribution to the 1912 Salon d'Automne created a controversy in the Municipal Council of Paris, leading to a debate in the Chambre des Députés about the use of public funds to provide the venue for such 'barbaric' art. The Cubists were defended by the Socialist politician, Marcel Sembat. This painting was realized as Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes, in preparation for the Salon de la Section d'Or, published a major defence of Cubism, resulting in the first theoretical essay on the new movement, Du "Cubisme".A photograph of Femme à l'Éventail appears among the Léonce Rosenberg archives in Paris, but there is no indication of when he acquired the painting. A Rosenberg label on the reverse bears the information "No.25112 J.Metzinger, 1913." By 1918 Rosenberg was buying Metzinger's paintings and may have acquired the picture around this time or soon afterwards.In 1937 Femme à l'Éventail was exhibited at Musée du Petit Palais, Les Maitres de l'art indépendant, 1895-1937, no. 12 (dated 1912). Mlle. Gamier des Garets probably acquired the painting after the 1937 exhibition. By 1938 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum had purchased the painting. It was gifted to the museum (gift 38.531) by Guggenheim in 1938 (the year after the formation of the foundation). Metzinger's Femme à l'Éventail forms part of the Founding Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.Femme à l'Éventail was showcased in an exhibition entitled The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918, from 30 November 2013 to 1 June 2014.

Franz Marc

Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc (February 8, 1880 – March 4, 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of German Expressionism. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.

Green Violinist

Green Violinist is a 1923-24 painting by artist Marc Chagall that is now in the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The work depicts a fiddler as the central figure who appears to be floating or dancing above the much smaller rooftops of the misty gray village below. This work is often considered to be the inspiration for the title of the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof.


Grrrrrrrrrrr!! is a 1965 oil and Magna on canvas painting by Roy Lichtenstein. Measuring 68 in × 56.125 in (172.7 cm × 142.6 cm), it was bequeathed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum collection from Lichtenstein's estate. It depicts a head-on representation of an angry dog growling with the onomatopoeic expression "Grrrrrrrrrrr!!". The work was derived from Our Fighting Forces, which also served as the source for other military dog paintwork by Lichtenstein.

Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative

The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a five-year program, supported by Swiss bank UBS in which the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation identifies and works with artists, curators and educators from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa to expand its reach in the international art world. For each of the three phases of the project, the museum invites one curator from the chosen region to the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York City for a two-year curatorial residency, where he or she works with a team of Guggenheim staff to identify new artworks that reflect the range of talents in their parts of the world. The resident curators organize international touring exhibitions that highlight these artworks and help organize educational activities. The Foundation acquires these artworks for its permanent collection and includes them as the focus of exhibitions that open at the museum in New York and subsequently travel to two other cultural institutions or other venues around the world. The Foundation supplements the exhibitions with a series of public and online programs, and supports cross-cultural exchange and collaboration between staff members of the institutions hosting the exhibitions. UBS is reportedly contributing more than $40 million to the project to pay for its activities and the art acquisitions. Foundation director Richard Armstrong commented: "We are hoping to challenge our Western-centric view of art history."

Hilla von Rebay

Hildegard Anna Augusta Elisabeth Freiin[1] Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, known as Baroness Hilla von Rebay or simply Hilla Rebay (31 May 1890 – 27 September 1967), was an abstract artist in the early 20th century and co-founder and first director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She was a key figure in advising Solomon R. Guggenheim to collect non-objective art, a collection that would later form the basis of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum collection. She was also influential in selecting Frank Lloyd Wright to design the current Guggenheim museum, which is now known as a modernist icon in New York City.

Landscape with Snow

Landscape with Snow is a painting made by Vincent van Gogh in 1888, believed to be one of the first paintings that he made in Arles. It is one of at least ten oil and watercolor paintings that Van Gogh made of a snowy landscape from 1882 to 1889. The painting reflects the La Crau plains set against Montmajour and hills along the horizon.

Nancy Spector

Nancy Spector is an American museum curator who is the Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, New York. Previously she was chief curator at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn.

Portrait of Countess Albazzi

Portrait of Countess Albazzi, a painting by Édouard Manet, became a part of the Thannhauser Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as a bequest of Hilde Thannhauser.

This portrait by Manet is a pastel executed on a very fine canvas stretched over wood. Off-white priming was used, the pastel is friable, and there are a number of tiny losses throughout the surface of the canvas.

Portrait of Countess Albazzi was among Manet's last works, and has been shown in Paris, Bern and Martigny exhibitions, in Europe.During the period when this portrait was executed (1880), Manet was participating annually in the Paris Salon, and working towards a solo exhibition arranged by Georges Charpentier.

Sol Friedman House

Sol Friedman House Toyhill, was built in Pleasantville, New York in 1948. This was the first of the three Frank Lloyd Wright homes built in the "Usonia Homes" development north of New York City.

The Friedman House forms part of the post-war development of Wright's use of the circle, culminating in his Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. The Sol Friedman house in Pleasantville, N.Y., is roofed with mushroom-like concrete slabs; the two intersecting closed circles of the actual dwelling are balanced at the end of a straight terrace parapet by the mushroom-shaped carport. This house was completed in 1949 with battered (sloped) walls of almost Richardsonian random ashlar masonry below a strip of metal-framed windows.

Wright dubbed the house Toyhill because Sol Friedman was a retailer of books, records, and (in some stores) toys.

The Accordionist

The Accordionist is a 1911 painting by Pablo Picasso. As stated by the title, the painting is meant to portray a man playing an accordion. The division of three-dimensional forms into a two-dimensional plane indicate that the painting is in the style of analytic cubism, which was developed by Picasso and Georges Braque between 1907 and 1914. The onset of cubism is possibly due to Picasso and Braque rebelling against centuries of traditional, realistic art that imitates the natural world.

In earlier stages of analytic cubism, such as Picasso's Carafe, Jug and Fruit Bowl, Picasso begins to break up the subject matter and alter the sense of depth. However, in earlier work there is still a defined sense of the subject's shape and volume. The picture plane is distorted, but not to the same extent as later paintings such as The Accordionist which verge on complete abstraction. Also differentiating early and late analytical cubism is the use of color. In Carafe, Jug and Fruit Bowl Picasso uses color to define the table cloth, bowls, and fruit, allowing the viewer to easily discern the subject matter, despite the slight flattening and separation of the picture plane. The Accordionist on the other hand is almost monochromatic which further camouflages the subject.

The Tilled Field

The Tilled Field (French: La terre labourée; Catalan: Terra llaurada) is a 1923-4 oil-on-canvas painting by Catalan painter Joan Miró, depicting a stylised view of his family's farm at Mont-roig del Camp in Catalonia. The painting shows development from Miró's earlier works, such as The Farm, and is considered to be one of his first Surrealist works, created around the same time as the more abstracted Catalan Landscape (The Hunter).

The painting measures 66 by 92.7 centimetres (26.0 in × 36.5 in). It is dominated by muted tones of yellow and brown. The image is divided into three areas by two horizontal lines, perhaps representing the sky, sea and earth; a diagonal line seems to put the top right corner of the painting in the dark of night, while the rest is in the light of day. The painting is littered with a confused mixture of forms, many with aspects of humans, animals, and plants. The various animal forms are derived from Catalan ceramics, including a lizard wearing a conical hat. A tree to the right of centre has a large eye in its green crown and a human ear on its brown trunk. Hanging from the tree is a shape covered with more eyes, possibly a pinecone, or perhaps a leaf or a spider; at the base of the tree is a folded newspaper with the French word jour (day). Further right, in the background, is a human figure following a cattle-drawn plough, based on the Altamira cave paintings. Also in the background, towards the centre, is a ramshackle house with chimney, and further left a tree-like object bearing the flags of France, Spain and Catalonia. Another plant-like object to the left bears a further flag, possibly French, perhaps symbolising the border between France (left) and Spain (right)

It is held by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Three Studies for a Crucifixion

Three Studies for a Crucifixion is a 1962 triptych oil painting by Francis Bacon. It was completed in March 1962 and comprises three separate canvases, each measuring 198.1 by 144.8 centimetres (6 ft 6.0 in × 4 ft 9.0 in). The work is held by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Woman Ironing

Woman Ironing (1904) is an oil painting by Pablo Picasso completed during the artist's Blue Period (1901—1904). This evocative image, painted in neutral tones of blue and gray, depicts an emaciated woman with hollowed eyes, sunken cheeks, and bent form, as she presses down on an iron with all her will. A recurrent subject matter for Picasso during this time is the desolation of social outsiders. This painting, as the rest of his works of the Blue Period, is inspired by his life in Spain but was painted in Paris.When Picasso painted Woman Ironing he was roughly 22 years old. Living in Paris, with little money, he would often start a painting on a canvas, abandon it, and later use the same surface to paint over a new work. Since 1989, when an infrared camera was used to examine Woman Ironing, art historians and conservators have been aware of the existence of another portrait beneath it. The work is part of the Thannhauser Collection currently on display in the Thannhauser Gallery of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Woman with Parakeet

Woman with Parakeet (French: La Femme à la perruche) is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir created in 1871. It is in the holdings of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of the Thannhauser Collection. The painting portrays model Lise Tréhot, who posed for Renoir in over twenty paintings during the years 1866 to 1872.

Yellow Cow

Yellow Cow (German: Gelbe Kuh) is a painting by the German artist Franz Marc, dating to 1911. It is one of the artist’s most well known works, and is one of several of his depictions of animals in Expressionist style. This work is oil on canvas and measures 140.5 x 189.2 centimeters. The central motif of the Yellow Cow painting is a jumping cow, surrounded by a colorful, structured landscape. The painting is characterized by the contrast between the dynamic central motif and the calm background.

The painting is in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and has been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

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