Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Museum in New York City, New York

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Museum in New York City, New York

Guggenheim Photo © Simon Collison

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Solomon R Guggenheim Museum -
	Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Francis Wu
Located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, also known as simply The Guggenheim, is an art museum that is home to a world-famous collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modern art. Established in 1939, the museum’s collections started off as several significant, private collections and have expanded organically.

The Guggenheim Museum has a few sister museums with which it shares its collections. Other Guggenheim museums are found in Bilbao, Venice and Abu Dhabi (Wikipedia Article). The museum in New York attracts more than one million visitors each year.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum -
	Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Gwenael Piaser

History

Solomon R. Guggenheim was a member of a wealthy mining family who started collecting paintings by the Old Masters at the end of the 20th century. After meeting the artist Hilla von Rebay in 1926, he discovered European avant-garde art. Guggenheim then adjusted his focus and began collecting more abstract works of art, such as work of Kandinsky (Wikipedia Article). This was when he first started exhibiting his collection to the public. He did this from his apartment in New York City’s Plaza Hotel. His collection grew and grew and in 1937, he created the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

The foundation opened its first venue in 1939, the then-called Museum of Non-Objective Painting, managed by von Rebay. Von Rebay expanded the museum’s collection with works by modernists, such as Mondrian, Kandinsky, Léger, and Picasso, and established a world-renowned exhibition.

In the 1940s the museum’s collection had become too big for its venue and a brand new building became necessary. Guggenheim and von Rebay then contacted the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who accepted their proposal to design a new and modern building to house the permanent collection. It took Wright fifteen years and hundreds of sketches before he was finally satisfied with his design. The new building was constructed on Fifth Avenue, close to Central Park. It is one of the most modern and futuristic building in Manhattan.

The museum was renamed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1952, three years after Guggenheim’s death. The collections have kept growing and still continue to grow every year. It also regularly hosts loan exhibitions and lets other museums exhibit its own collections. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum now draws in more than a million visitors annually.

Inside Solomon R Guggenheim
	Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Inside Solomon R Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Francis Wu

Collections

Pablo Picasso - "Woman
	ironing (La repasseuse)" (1904) - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Pablo Picasso - "Woman ironing (La repasseuse)" (1904) - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Mia Feigelson
The Guggenheim’s permanent collection essentially consists of several distinctive, private collections that have been brought together and expanded in the course of eight decades. Additions came from international partners, purchases made by director and curators and donations. The whole collection provides a detailed overview of the evolution of modern art, from the 1850s until now.

The founding collection was the one from Guggenheim himself, consisting of about 600 works of art. Highlights in this collection are Yellow Cow by Franz Marc, Composition 8 by Vasily Kandinsky, and Paris Through the Window by Marc Chagall.

Another renowned collection is the one formerly owned by Justin K. Thannhauser. It consists of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern French masterpieces.

In 1948, the museum bought the entire holdings of New York City art dealer, Karl Nierenhof. It added many German and Austrian Expressionist works to the collections. Artworks in this collection are by famous artists, such as Joan Miro and Oskar Kokoschka.

The personal collection of Hilla von Rebay, the museum’s first curator and director, was added after her death in 1967. In her lifetime she had been in contact with many artists and her collection included works by Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, and Schwitters.

The Panza Collection was acquired in the early 1990s through purchases and gifts. It is made up of 350 works of Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, and Conceptual art. This collection is regarded as the most comprehensive collection of American art from the 1960s and the 1970s. The addition of this impressive collection gave the Guggenheim more depth, as it now also held an important post-war collection.

Other collections in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York are the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundations Gift, the Katherine S. Dreier Bequest, and the Bohen Foundation Gift. The other Guggenheim museums elsewhere in the world, of course, house many more collections.

Exhibit in
	Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Exhibit in Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Kent Wang

Visiting the Guggenheim

The Guggenheim Museum is located on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side in Manhattan, on the so-called Museum Mile (Wikipedia Article). It is easily reached by either bus or subway. The nearest subway station is on 86st Street, reachable via the 4, 5 and 6 trains. By bus the museum can be reached with the M1, M2, M3, and M4 buses on Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

Admission is $ 22 USD for adults, $ 18 USD for seniors and students with valid IDs, and free for children younger than twelve and member. The museum is open from 10AM until 5.45PM from Sunday through Friday, with the exception of Thursday when it’s closed. On Saturdays it’s open from 10AM until 7.45PM. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Similar Landmarks

Other museums within close proximity are the Jewish Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of the City of New York.

Elsewhere in the world you may want to visit The Louvre, the Hermitage, the Smithsonian, and the Vatican Museums.

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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Feb 02, 2015

Pictures of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Spiral - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Spiral - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by saitowitz

Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Maciek Lulko

Guggenheim - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo by Joseph

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