With its spiraling facade and impeccable white finish, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is one of the most iconic art museums in New York City. This cultural institution has a premium collection of art dating back to the impressionist movement and various periods in the 20th century. Art Deco and avant-garde dominate the overall theme inside this modern museum. Click to book your Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum with Skip-the-Line admission ticket.
Collection and Highlights
The permanent collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is derived directly from the private collection of the institution’s founder. Impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by French masters are among the museum’s most prized possessions.
All of the other installations mostly fall into the modern and contemporary categories. Cubism is perhaps the most notable style in the museum’s early modern collection. Abstract artwork is another major highlight at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, and Paul Klee are some prominent names that visitors will see on the signatures of select works.
Which is More Impressive, the Building or the Art?
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an internationally well-known museum of modern and contemporary art. The global network of five Guggenheim Museums in five different cities (New York, Venice, Bilboa, Berlin, and soon to open in Abu Dhabi) all feature unique architecture and great artwork.
The Guggenheim is a one-of-a-kind art museum. Unlike most other museums, the Guggenheim does not divide its galleries into mediums or eras. The collection, on the other hand, is meant to be viewed as a whole. But don’t worry, you’ll have no trouble finding the exhibitions or artists you’re looking for! There are plenty of guides strewn about, and audio tours are always available. Every day, two guided tours are also available.
Guggenheim New York is located on the Upper East Side, in an iconic building designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
The structure that some have called the “cupcake” stands in stark contrast to the neighboring Upper East Side buildings and is part of the show in its own right. Inside the museum, a spiral walkway leads visitors through exhibits around the perimeter of the building. The center is open.
The museum’s permanent collections include paintings, sculptures, and artworks, and feature artists such as Cezanne, Monet, and Picasso.
Temporary exhibitions are displayed up the spiraling ramp that runs through the interior of the main structure, providing multiple perspectives on each artwork (and doing some serious people-watching). Exhibits, which can range in focus from a specific artist to a historical period to a thematic thread, can frequently displace the permanent collection. (However, works from the permanent collection are always available in the Thannhauser collection.)
The Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a cinema-like setting that presents films and other multimedia content. Additional screenings are done at the intimate News Corporation Media Theater which accommodates 70 people.
Dining options at the museum include The Wright restaurant.
In the late 19th century, Solomon R. Guggenheim started collecting paintings by some of Europe’s greatest artists. This affluent mining tycoon eventually developed a deep interest in contemporary art, particularly the avant-garde style.
In the late 1930s, he established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to nurture and expand unorthodox art. During World War II, the foundation gained plenty of momentum for a transformation into a physical space in New York City.
Guggenheim enthusiastically asked Frank Lloyd Wright to devise some plans for a museum that would display one of the greatest collections of avant-garde art in America. It took this legendary architect approximately 15 years to finalize the plans for a building that would eventually become the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
A spiral frame, open atrium, and rooftop skylight are some of the distinct architectural elements of this museum. An inverted-ziggurat layout also dominates the overall outline of the building. It’s quite evident that Wright was inspired by the nautilus shell, which also influenced other great artists during the 20th century, such as the Spaniard Salvador Dali. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum officially opened in 1959, just a few months after the passing of its master architect.
Visiting Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum stands as one of the most recognizable landmarks along the trendy Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. This famous stretch of the borough is also known as Museum Mile. This architectural wonder overlooks the pristine Central Park, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Bounded by 88th and 89th Streets, the museum is also one of the most important cultural venues in the ritzy Upper East Side neighborhood. Since opening its doors, the art institution has contributed to the boom in prices of adjacent residential skyscrapers.
If you’d like to reach the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by public transit, just hop on the 4, 5 or 6 line of the New York City subway. These routes stop at the 86 Street underground station, which is located just a few blocks away from the museum.
The 86 Street station off 2nd Avenue also gets service from the Q and R trains of the subway network. There are more than a dozen bus stops within a five-block radius of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses heavily navigate Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, and East 86th Street.
Essential Tourist Information
Every day at 2 p.m., gallery educators lead-free admission tours (no reservation required). If you arrive at a different time, take the free audio tour or download the app, and make sure to chat with the Gallery Guides, docents stationed throughout the museum who are happy to explain what’s on display.
- Adults: $22
- Students/Seniors (65 and up with ID): $18
- Children under 12: Free
- Members: Free
- Pay-as-you-wish on Saturdays from 5:15 pm to 7:45 pm
- Friday, Sunday – Wednesday: 10 am – 5:45 pm
- Saturday: 10 am – 7:45 pm
- Thursday: Closed
- Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Location and Directions
Address: 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th St (See New York City Museums Map)
By subway, take the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street. Walk west on 86th Street and turn right on Fifth Avenue. By bus, take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus on Madison or Fifth Avenue.