Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Overview
 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (often referred to as "The Guggenheim") is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park and the East River. The Upper East Side lies within an area bounded by 59th Street to 96th Street, and the East River to Fifth Avenue-Central Park...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

, and contemporary art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

, it is one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. The museum opened on October 21, 1959, and was the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1937 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and artist Hilla von Rebay. The first museum established by the foundation was the "Museum of Non-Objective Art", which was housed in rented space on Park Avenue in New York....

; from 2005 to 2008 it underwent an extensive renovation.
Solomon Guggenheim, guided by his art adviser and German painter Hilla Rebay
Hilla von Rebay
Hildegard Anna Augusta Elizabeth Freiin Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, Baroness Hilla von Rebay, or simply Hilla Rebay , was a notable woman abstract painter in the early 20th century. After immigrating to the United States in 1927, she may be best known for helping Solomon R...

, began to collect works by nonobjective artists in 1929.
Encyclopedia
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (often referred to as "The Guggenheim") is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park and the East River. The Upper East Side lies within an area bounded by 59th Street to 96th Street, and the East River to Fifth Avenue-Central Park...

 of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

, and contemporary art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

, it is one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. The museum opened on October 21, 1959, and was the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1937 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and artist Hilla von Rebay. The first museum established by the foundation was the "Museum of Non-Objective Art", which was housed in rented space on Park Avenue in New York....

; from 2005 to 2008 it underwent an extensive renovation.

History

Solomon Guggenheim, guided by his art adviser and German painter Hilla Rebay
Hilla von Rebay
Hildegard Anna Augusta Elizabeth Freiin Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, Baroness Hilla von Rebay, or simply Hilla Rebay , was a notable woman abstract painter in the early 20th century. After immigrating to the United States in 1927, she may be best known for helping Solomon R...

, began to collect works by nonobjective artists in 1929. (For Rebay, the word "nonobjective" signified the spiritual dimensions of pure abstraction.) Guggenheim first began to show his collection in his apartment, and as the collection grew, he established The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1937. Guggenheim and Rebay opened the foundation for the "promotion and encouragement and education in art and the enlightenment of the public." Chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State, the Foundation was endowed to operate one or more museums; Solomon Guggenheim was elected its first President and Rebay its Director.

In 1939, the Guggenheim Foundation's first museum, "The Museum of Non-Objective Painting", opened in rented quarters at 24 East Fifty-Fourth Street in New York and showcased art by early modernists such as Rudolf Bauer
Rudolf Bauer (artist)
Alexander Georg Rudolf Bauer was a German-born painter who was involved in the avant-garde group Der Sturm in Berlin, and whose work would become central to the Non-Objective art collection of Solomon R...

, Hilla Rebay
Hilla von Rebay
Hildegard Anna Augusta Elizabeth Freiin Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, Baroness Hilla von Rebay, or simply Hilla Rebay , was a notable woman abstract painter in the early 20th century. After immigrating to the United States in 1927, she may be best known for helping Solomon R...

, Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely-abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics...

, Paul Klee
Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

 and Piet Mondrian
Piet Mondrian
Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondriaan, after 1906 Mondrian , was a Dutch painter.He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism...

. During the life of Guggenheim's first museum, Guggenheim continued to add to his collection, acquiring paintings by Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

, Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee...

, Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

, Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. Primarily a figurative artist, he became known for paintings and sculptures in a modern style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form...

 and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

. The collection quickly outgrew its original space, so in 1943, Rebay and Guggenheim wrote a letter to Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...

 pleading him to design a permanent structure for the collection. It took Wright 15 years, 700 sketches, and six sets of working drawings to create the museum. From 1943 to early 1944, Wright produced four different sketches for the initial design, due to the chosen site and job importance. One of the plans (scheme C) was a hexagonal shape as opposed to the other three circular sketches. It was the only design of the four to have level floors for the galleries without the use of one ramp continuing around the building. While Wright was designing the museum Rebay was searching for sites where the museum would reside. Where the museum now stands was its original chosen site by Rebay which is at the corners of 89th Street and Fifth Avenue (overlooking Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

). On October 21, 1959, ten years after the death of Solomon Guggenheim and six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright the Museum opened its doors for the first time to the general public.

The distinctive building, Wright's last major work, instantly polarized architecture critics upon completion, though today it is widely revered. From the street, the building looks like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the more typically boxy Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

 "look like a Protestant barn."

Internally, the viewing gallery forms a gentle helical spiral from the main level up to the top of the building. Paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and also in exhibition space found at annex levels along the way.

Most of the criticism of the building has focused on the idea that it overshadows the artworks displayed within, and that it is particularly difficult to properly hang paintings in the shallow windowless exhibition niches that surround the central spiral. The walls of the niches are neither vertical nor flat (most are gently concave), meaning that canvasses must be mounted proud of the wall's surface. Paintings hung slanted back would appear "as on the artist's easel". The limited space within the niches means that sculptures are generally relegated to plinths amid the main spiral walkway itself. Prior to its opening, twenty-one artists, including Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, signed a letter protesting the display of their work in such a space.

In 1992, the building was supplemented by an adjoining rectangular tower, taller than the original spiral, designed by the architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects LLC is a New York City-based architectural firm founded in 1967 by architects Charles Gwathmey and Robert Siegel. The firm's work ranges from art and educational facilities and major corporate buildings to furniture systems and decorative art objects...

. By that point, the building had become iconic enough that this augmentation of Wright's original design was itself controversial.

In October 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
Sotheby's
Sotheby's is the world's fourth oldest auction house in continuous operation.-History:The oldest auction house in operation is the Stockholms Auktionsverk founded in 1674, the second oldest is Göteborgs Auktionsverk founded in 1681 and third oldest being founded in 1731, all Swedish...

.

From October 2005 to February 2008, Thomas Krens
Thomas Krens
Thomas Krens is the former director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City, and currently the Guggenheim's Senior Advisor for International Affairs, overseeing the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi...

 remained director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, having won a decisive victory over billionaire philanthropist and board member Peter Lewis. A significant contributor to the Guggenheim Foundation, Lewis resigned in 2005 in a dispute with the board over the direction and leadership of the Foundation. Despite this, Krens and Lewis nevertheless continue to agree in describing the building itself as "the most important piece of art in the collection."

In February 2008, Krens stepped down as the Director of the Guggenheim Foundation, but remains an advisor to the Guggenheim's international expansion projects. The search for a new Director, who will head both the New York museum and the Foundation was recently completed with the Board's appointment of Richard Armstrong—formerly director of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art
The Carnegie Museum of Art, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an art museum founded in 1895 by the Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie...

—as its fifth director.

Exterior restoration

Between September 2005 and July 2008, the Guggenheim Museum underwent a significant exterior restoration.

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 current condition that determined the structure to be fundamentally sound. This initial condition assessment included:
  • the removal of 11 coats of paint from the original surface, revealing hundreds of cracks caused over the years, primarily from seasonal temperature fluctuations
  • 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 in order to locate voids within the walls
  • extensive 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
  • testing of potential repair materials.

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 addresses the exterior of the original building and the infrastructure. This includes the skylights, windows, doors, concrete and gunite facades and exterior sidewalk, as well as the climate-control. The goal will be to preserve as much significant historical fabric of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as possible, while accomplishing necessary repairs and attaining a suitable environment for the building's continuing use as a museum.On September 22, 2008, friends and supporters of the Guggenheim gathered in New York to mark the completion of the 3-year renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Museum. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg officiated at the celebration that culminated, just after sunset, with the premiere of artist Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist. Holzer lives and works in Hoosick Falls, New York.-Education:...

's tribute For the Guggenheim, 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 dollar restoration included the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York. Additional support was provided by the State of New York and MAPEI Corporation. The museum was registered as a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 on October 6, 2008.

Significance in popular culture

The building has become a cultural icon and can be seen widely throughout popular culture. It is featured in Matthew Barney
Matthew Barney
Matthew Barney is an American artist who works in sculpture, photography, drawing and film. His early works were sculptural installations combined with performance and video...

's The Cremaster Cycle
The Cremaster Cycle
The Cremaster Cycle is an art project consisting of five feature length films, together with related sculptures, photographs, drawings, and artist's books; it is the best-known work of American visual artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney....

, Bye Bye Birdie, Men in Black
Men in Black (film)
Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Marvel Comics. The film featured the creature effects...

, When in Rome, Downtown 81
Downtown 81
Downtown 81 is a film that was shot in 1980-1981.This film, directed by Edo Bertoglio, written and produced by Glenn O'Brien with post-production in 1999-2000 by Maripol, is a rare real-life snapshot of ultra-hip subculture of post-punk era Manhattan...

, Ugly Betty
Ugly Betty
Ugly Betty is an American comedy-drama television series developed by Silvio Horta, which premiered on ABC on September 28, 2006, and ended on April 14, 2010. The series revolves around the character Betty Suarez and is based on Fernando Gaitán's Colombian telenovela soap opera Yo soy Betty, la fea...

and prominently in The International
The International (film)
The International is a 2009 thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer. The film follows an Interpol agent and an American attorney who investigate corruption within the IBBC, a fictional merchant bank based in Luxembourg. It serves organized crime and corrupt governments as a banker and as an arms...

, where a major shootout occurs in the museum. (In fact, a life-size replica of the museum was built for this scene.) The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

has included the museum multiple times on its cover and cartoons.

Works and Process

Works and Process is a series of performances at the Guggenheim begun in 1984. The first season consisted of Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass is an American composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public .His music is often described as minimalist, along with...

 with Christopher Keene on Akhnaten and Steve Reich
Steve Reich
Stephen Michael "Steve" Reich is an American composer who together with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass is a pioneering composer of minimal music...

 and Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas is an American conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra.-Early years:...

 on The Desert Music.

See also

  • List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City
  • Museum Mile
  • V. C. Morris Gift Shop, site of ramp prototype
    V. C. Morris Gift Shop
    The V. C. Morris Gift Shop is located at 140 Maiden Lane in San Francisco, California, USA, and was renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948. The store was used by Wright as a physical prototype, or proof of concept for the circular ramp at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.Xanadu Gallery, the...

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim
    Solomon R. Guggenheim
    Solomon Robert Guggenheim was an American businessman, art collector, and philanthropist.-Biography:He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of Meyer Guggenheim and brother of Simon, Benjamin, Daniel and four other siblings.Following studies in Switzerland at the Concordia Institute in...

  • Guggenheim Museum (disambiguation) (a list of all museums founded by the Guggenheim Foundation)
  • Guggenheim family
    Guggenheim family
    The Guggenheim family is an American family, of Swiss Jewish ancestry. Beginning with Meyer Guggenheim, who arrived in America in 1847, the family were known for their global successes in mining and smelting . During the 19th century, the family possessed one of the largest fortunes in the world...

  • Thomas Krens
    Thomas Krens
    Thomas Krens is the former director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City, and currently the Guggenheim's Senior Advisor for International Affairs, overseeing the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi...

  • The Art of the Motorcycle
    The Art of the Motorcycle
    The Art of the Motorcycle was an exhibition that presented 114 motorcycles chosen for their historic importance or design excellence in a display designed by Frank Gehry in the curved rotunda of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, running for three months...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK