Isn’t it odd how a unique building can divide people initially, then later be revered as one of the country’s greatest works of architecture? That’s the story of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, usually called The Guggenheim. It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major design, and it polarized the New York creative crowd. Several artists even signed a letter, saying their works couldn’t be properly displayed in such a limited space.
There’s no question that this isn’t The Metropolitan Museum. Wright worked on the drawings for 15 years before settling on the design. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Guggenheim nor Mr. Wright survived to see the building open. When it entertained its first visitors in October, 1959, it transformed the block at 89th Street and 5th Avenue on which it’s situated. And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t look dated at all. It could have been created today, and been just as beautiful and startling as it did more than a half century ago.
But, as I said earlier, this success didn’t come without significant opposition. Many expressed concern that the building would overpower the art inside. Wright answered, “On the contrary, (the purpose) was to make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before.”
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened its doors on October 21,… (andreyf.tumblr.com)