Guggenheim Museum – Must See Tourist Attraction in New York City
Guggenheim Museum – Top 10 Attractions in NYC, New York, USA
Founded in 1937, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a modern art museum located on the Upper East Side in New York City. It is the best-known of several museums owned and/or operated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and is often called simply The Guggenheim. It is one of the best-known museums in New York City.
Originally called “The Museum of Non-Objective Painting”, the Guggenheim was founded to showcase avant-garde art by early modernists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. It moved to its present location, at the corners of 89th Street and Fifth Avenue (overlooking Central Park), in 1959, when Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the site was completed.
The distinctive building itself became regarded as a work of art. From the street, the building looks approximately like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Internally, the viewing gallery forms a gentle spiral from the ground level up to the top of the building. Paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and also in viewing rooms found at stages along the way.
In 1992, the building was supplemented by an adjoining rectangular tower, taller than the original spiral, designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects. This augmentation of Wright’s original design-widely regarded as a classic of American architecture-was controversial. Wright’s building has proved to be unpopular with some art critics, who feel the building overshadows the artworks displayed within, and that it is particularly difficult to properly hang paintings in the shallow windowless exhibition niches which 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 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.
In October 2005, Lisa Dennison was appointed director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She hopes to improve the permanent collection, attract new board members, and bring new, exciting shows to the New York Museum. Thomas Krens remains director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, having recently 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.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street)
To reach the museum by subway, take the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street. Walk west on 86th Street, turn right at 5th Avenue and proceed north to 88th Street.
To reach the museum by bus, take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus on Madison or Fifth Avenue.
By Car from New Jersey
To reach the museum by car, take the NJ Turnpike over the George Washington Bridge to enter upper Manhattan at west 96th Street. Take the first exit-9A/Henry Hudson Parkway-to the right, going south. Take the west 96th exit to cross the park. Turn right at 5th Avenue. Follow 5th Avenue to 89th Street.
Or take the Lincoln Tunnel to enter Midtown Manhattan at west 40th Street. Take the RT-3 exit and merge onto I-495 east. Take the exit (on left) toward 40th Street and North/West Side Highway. Continue southeast on 40th Street. Turn left at Park Avenue. Turn left at east 89th Street. Turn left at 5th Avenue.
Sat-Wed 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Fri 10 a.m.-7:45 p.m.
On Friday evenings beginning at 5:45 p.m. the museum hosts Pay What You Wish, in which admission is by donation. The last tickets are issued at 7:15 p.m. These tickets are not free and cannot be purchased in advance.