The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened its doors on October 21, 1959 and is one of the best-known museums in New York City and one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks.
the museum––which is often called simply The Guggenheim––is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art, and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Located on the Upper East Side in New York City it is the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation which was founded in 1937. The Museum recently underwent an extensive, three year renovation.
The distinctive building, instantly polarized architecture critics upon completion, though today it is widely revered. From the street, the building looks approximately 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.
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. Although the rotunda is generously lit by a large skylight, the niches are heavily shadowed by the walkway itself, leaving the art to be lit largely by artificial light. 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. The limited space within the niches means that sculptures are generally relegated to plinths amid the main spiral walkway itself.
The museum was registered as a National Historic Landmark on October 6, 2008.
Architect : Frank Lloyd Wright