Well-worn phrase "New York - a city of contrasts!" involuntarily pops up in memory at the sight of the unusual building of the Solomon Guggenheim Museum. Its history began long before 1937, when the rich gold miner and industrial tycoon Robert Guggenheim retired and took up the world of beauty - became a philanthropist, creating a special fund of his name.
Guggenheim himself was not a great specialist in painting and sculpture, therefore, he invited the artist and art historian - the famous German baroness Hill Ribei von Enreinweisen to select exhibits. Since 1939, the collection of the fund was located in Manhattan. However, with the growth of the collection, there was a need for more spacious rooms. In 1943, Frank Lloyd Wright, a legend of American architecture, was elected an architect. The construction ended in 1959, when neither Frank Wright nor Solomon Guggenheim was already alive. In 1992, reconstruction was carried out and additional premises provided for by the project were completed and the building acquired its current form.
Today, it is a futuristic-looking building on Fifth Avenue between 88th 89th Street, in the form of an upturned tower, where viewers on the elevator rise to the top floor and spiral down, examining the expositions, down, is considered one of the outstanding architectural masterpieces of XX century.
The collection of works of the museum, the concept of which was developed by H. background Rebay in collaboration with artists O. Nebel, V. Kandinsky and R. Bauer, is now considered the largest collection in the world of the era of classical modernism. Now it has over 6,000 exhibits. The works of such masters as Miro, Beckman, Rauschenberg, Mondrian, J. Boyce, Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Leger, A. Calder, Picasso, F. Mark, Degas, Klee, Rothko and others are presented here.
The museum’s collections also included the previously known collections of Justin and Hilda Tannhauser - works in the style of early modernism, impressionism and post-impressionism, a collection of sculptures and paintings of the early avant-garde of Katerina Dreyer. German expressionism from the collection of Karl Nirendorf, surrealism and abstract art from the collection of Peggy Guggenheim, conceptual art and minimalism from the collection of Giuseppe Panza di Byumo and many other collections acquired or received as a gift are also represented.
The museum along the spiral gallery hosts thematic exhibitions, which, as a rule, become events in the world of art. Exhibitions such as Africa: The Art of the Continent, which opened in 1996, China in the Five Millenniums in 1998, and the Aztec Empire in 2004 became world events.
In June 2000, the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Guttenheim Foundation signed an agreement that resulted in the creation of the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas. The purpose of such cooperation is to exchange exhibitions, so that the unique collections of two great museums could become the property of both Russian and American public. Let's hope this is not a one way road ....