One of the most famous galleries of modern art is the New York Museum of Solomon R. Guggenheim, which was created from the original private collection of this American millionaire. The museum is housed in a striking and provocative spiral building in upper Manhattan.
Solomon Robert Guggenheim was born in 1861 in Philadelphia into the family of a wealthy businessman and mine owner who came to the US from Switzerland. Solomon also became an industrialist, philanthropist and philanthropist who made his money mainly from the copper trade – he founded the Yukon Gold Company and became very rich very quickly. In the early 1930s, the German noblewoman and artist Hilla von Rebay convinced him to start collecting modern art. Guggenheim decided that this was not a bad idea and bought the first few works of art.
In 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was founded to support modern art, and two years later, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting was opened in New York, where Guggenheim’s private collections were exhibited. These are mainly oriented towards abstract art and even today form the core of the museum’s exhibitions.
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In 1943, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was selected and commissioned to design a new museum building. Wright was very pleased with this request and set to work with gusto. Over 16 years, he submitted six sets of plans and 749 drawings. Guggenheim himself did not live to see the construction, he died in 1949, while the new museum was not completed until ten years later, in 1959. Nevertheless, he left the architect enough funds to see the work to a successful conclusion. Wright also did not live to see the opening of the museum in October 1959, dying half a year earlier on April 9, 1959.
Nevertheless, Wright managed to create a unique work, which initially caused criticism, but later people found love in it. The circular building has a free space in the middle, the gallery inside is arranged in a spiral without windows. Although enough light falls from the central dome, the paintings must be illuminated artificially. The museum building is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in New York. Today, many people visit his unique concrete structure just to look at it, many of them are not even interested in the works on display. In the 90s of the 20th century, the building underwent extensive reconstruction, in 1992 an even taller and regular Gwathmey Siegel Tower, designed by G. Siegel, was built here. Today, the buildings together form a whole that belongs to the icons of New York, and everyone who has a moment of time should go here.
Currently, the Guggenheim Museum houses numerous collections that cover the history of modern art of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as post-war art. Among the paintings here are, for example, Kandinsky’s works “In a Black Square”, “Composition 8”, Léger’s “Contrast of Forms” or Delaunay’s “Simultaneous Window”. However, you will also find works by M. Chagall, such as “The Green Violinist” or “Paris seen through a window”.
In 1948, the museum acquired the estate of merchant Karel Nierendorf, which contained 730 various objects. This estate included 110 works by Paul Klee, 24 works by L. Feininger, six paintings by Chagall and two paintings by Joan Miró. However, sculptures are also represented here, you can see “Adam and Eve” by Brancusi or Cézanne’s “Man with folded hands”.
In 1963, the museum bought the Thannhauser Collection, which contained many valuable works by world impressionists. Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Manet are represented here. The Guggenheim also houses one of the largest public collections of painter Pablo Picasso. The museum has recently expanded to include film, photography, multimedia and hi-tech art collections. The Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery is focused on photography, but the Guggenheim Family Galleries are also interesting. Exhibitions change frequently these days, and even with a permanent exhibition, you are not guaranteed that it will be available. However, you will always find examples of the works of leading and key artists here. In the 1980s, other museums of the Guggenheim Foundation began to be established, and today you can find their locations in Venice, Bilbao, Berlin, Las Vegas and Guadalajara, Mexico.