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October 21

The Guggenheim

Neither Solomon Guggenheim nor Frank Lloyd Wright lived to see the building dedicated, but today it stands as a monument to their commitment to artistic innovation.

Photo by flickr user "ManyHighways"

1959: The Wright Man for the Job
The Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City
When Solomon Guggenheim’s personal advisor approached architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a building to house Guggenheim’s art collection, he told Wright, “I need a fighter, a lover of space, an originator, a tester, and a wise man.” Wright was indeed the right man. It took 16 years to complete, but the result is one of New York’s signature buildings, an edifice as iconoclastic as the art it contains.

Wright rejected buildings’ traditional cubical shape; instead, he chose to mimic smooth, round forms of nature. The interior is no less revolutionary. Visitors ride elevators to the top floor, and from there descend a sloping ramp that lets viewers experience the artwork as one continuous series.
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