A Great Big City

October 21 in History: The Guggenheim Museum Opens on the Upper East Side

guggenheim
guggenheim via eschipul on Flickr

While the art collection dates back to 1939, the Guggenheim opened in its permanent building on October 21, 1959.

Solomon R. Guggenheim had been collecting artwork since the 1890s and opened the "Museum of Non-Objective Painting" in 1939 in Midtown at 24 East 54th Street, a former car showroom. The "inverted oatmeal dish" of a building was met with criticism, but it was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most impressive creations. Although constructed on a limited budget, the building would take its place along Fifth Avenue with confidence, opening in 1959 and becoming a permanent fixture of New York City.

Visit the Guggenheim today from 10am to 7:45pm.

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