The Guggenheim Museum – A Home for Art and a Work of Art in Itself

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Among the city’s iconic cultural institutions, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum holds an honored place. In addition to being home to a world-renowned collection of 20th century, modern, and contemporary art masterpieces, the museum itself is an architectural wonder. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who situated it on the Upper East Side near Central Park in order to set its organic forms as close to nature as possible, the museum is built around a spiral core that echoes the shape of a nautilus shell. From any vantage point along the spiral, visitors can view multiple sections that flow around one another.

The building’s series of self-contained yet interconnected galleries have exhibited numerous cutting-edge works over the course of more than a half-century in existence. Over the last few years, museum visitors have seen an exhibition concentrating on the early paintings and woodcuts of Vasily Kandinsky, as well as paintings, postcards, and telegrams that characterize the Conceptual style of artist On Kawara. “Wang Jianwei: Time Temple” focused on the performance-and-installation-based work of the contemporary Chinese artist known for his bold explorations of space, time, and elements reflecting social reality.

The museum’s collections have their roots in the personal collection of non-objective paintings assembled by Solomon R. Guggenheim and the Surrealist and abstract pieces that belonged to his niece, Peggy Guggenheim. The holdings have been augmented over the decades by works representative of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Minimalist, and Conceptual art, among other innovative styles. The Guggenheim does not divide its collections into separate “wings” or sections, as most museums do. Instead, it offers an integrated experience, as one exhibition flows into another.

The Wright, the museum’s upscale café, won a James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design. Relax during your visit by enjoying tea, coffee, or beer, along with sandwiches and specialty desserts.