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Guggenheim Museum

Published: 6.1.2009
Guggenheim Museum belongs to most unusual and most fascinating architecture works of New York. Its rich collection of modern art is visited with more than 60000 visitors each year. There are exhibited works of such artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Roy Liechtenstein and others.

The museum´s architecture is so famous as its collections. Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York was open for public on 21st October 1959. Its architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, an American, however, did not lived to see the termination of this building, as he fighted for it for more than 15 years. He died on 9th April 1959. The construction of Guggenheim Museum, where there were used nearly exclusively oval forms, Wright realized his dream regarding organic architecture. Just opposite Central Park on Fifth Avenue in New York, there is rising, on rectangular base, round, in upwards direction rising building, covered with flat glassed cupola. The visitor drives upstairs with a lift up to highest floor and mounts afterthat along spiral, sloping down space drive, around artistic works, when he gets the groundfloor again. Wright realized his museum conception - as one unique space in one still continuing floor. The exhibition grounds are lightened with artificial lightning. In the middle space, from groundfloor, just upstairs into empty space, the light is streaming through glassed cupola. In its architectonical interior solution, Wright suppressed broken lines and tried to join all elements of the building in organic way. Just nearby the exhibition building, there is located a smaller construction, based on rectangular stand. Here, there are situated spaces for negotiations, lectures and a library is located here.

The whole building is lack of any decorations, so this fact emphasizes the effect of its form. Who critisize the bulding only, deny, that it is suitable for museum building. As periphery walls are declined, the pictures had to be hunged in crooked way. Moreover, as the visitor stands on inclined drive, the effect of exhibited work could be distorted. Another problem consists in a fact that the pictures of larger dimensions could not be exhibited at all. Despite of it, Guggenheim Museum belongs to most unusual and most fascinating architecture works of New York. Special exhibitions (at least 5 actions within the year) need the use of all exhibition space (ground). Standard inventory contains more than 4000 works, including sculptors of Alexander Archipenko and Constantine Brancusi. The collections, created by Salomon R.Guggenheim (his family founded financial and industrial empire in 19th century in United States). From the beginning, Guggenheim collected pictures of old Masters.

Anyway, later, since 1920 - according to the advice of expert, Helly Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, Austrian baron-woman - he started to specialize for contemporaneous art. The collection was changed in a foundation, and open for public since 1st June 1939. In 1943, Salomon R.Guggenheim charged his architect, Frank Cloud Wright, with the construction of today´s museum building, where he was ready to collect obtained pieces (pictures) of contemporaneous art. However, this unusual project caused long years´ lasting disputes with building authorities of  New York. So, the approval for construction was got even in 1956. Some supplementary buildings were added, so, in such way the museum received next exhibition halls in 1980, so that the collection of former Munich businessman with artistic works, Justin K.Thannhauser, containing especially works of modern French painting art, can be exhibited as standard exposition.

Text: J.Štantejský and Monumente der Welt

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Gomattolson, Jnn13, Rebbeca Kennison

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