Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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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. Since then, its accomplishment has been the establishment of a global network of museums:

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York––the first permanent museum to be built––is sometimes called simply "the Guggenheim". Beginning with the Guggenheim Museum in New York, a modern spiral building (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), the tradition of hiring prominent architects for its museum designs has continued with the Guggenheim Bilbao (designed by Frank Gehry), and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas (designed by Rem Koolhaas). The Guggenheim Foundation developed a reputation for hiring major architects and building bold designs. In fact, some claim (or complain) that the Guggenheim buildings are more famous than the art works on display inside them.

The museums exhibit primarily "high" modern and postmodern art, but some branches have also exhibited commercial art. For example, the Solomon R. Guggenheim has shown exhibitions of Giorgio Armani suits and motorcycles; the latter exhibition, The Art of the Motorcycle, was later moved to semi-permanent display at the Guggenheim Las Vegas until it closed in 2003.[1][2]



The first Guggenheim museum, opened in 1939, was called the "Museum of Non-Objective Painting", and resided at an automobile showroom at East 54th St., in midtown Manhattan. Within a few years work began on the design of a new permanent home for the collection. The architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, conceived the space as a "temple of spirit" which would facilitate a new way of looking at the modern pieces in the collection. Named the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum after its founder, the landmark building opened in 1959 to large crowds and critical controversy.

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