The 21st of October, 1959 was a monumental day. Not only because my mother was one year and two months old on that day, but also because it was the day that the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City!
|Photo from FrankLloydWright.org|
The Guggenheim is an incredible museum, and a beautiful piece of work in its own right. All curves, no traditional rectangular galleries, a curving ramp that takes you past every piece with no possibility of getting lost in a maze of painting...it’s gorgeous.
It was, of course, like apparently everything that happened on my birthday, controversial. But the main reason for the controversy was so fascinating: people thought the building would compete with the artwork inside! They said the structure wasn’t fit for purpose, because it was too beautiful and too unconventional. !!!!!
The museum it was designed to house was literally called “the museum of non-objective painting.” The person who commissioned Wright to do it said she wanted “A Temple of the Spirit!”
Despite the mixed reviews from contemporary artists and architects who had difficulty seeing the vision, the museum is now one of the most iconic buildings and art spaces anywhere in the world. That day in 1959 was a triumph for vision that makes new things possible. Happy birthday, Guggenheim Museum!
(I can’t find my own photos from there...it’s possible I was busy looking at everything and not taking pictures, or that they are only print and not digital and therefore I don’t have them anymore, so I’m using google to show you all how amazing it is!)