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Take a tour through the Guggenheim Museum in New York

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is one of the most well-known and influential museums of modern art anywhere in the world today. It is located on Fifth Avenue and was designed by the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright. It features works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock, and many more and has distinguished shapes that allow you to interact with its rich and diverse collection. Today, we will learn more about the museum and its history and how to plan your visit there.   

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As mentioned above, it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was built in a shape that makes it look like a huge cup of concrete. The museum was built in remembrance of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who was a collector of modern and innovative art. Ever since 1929, he has been showing his private collection of art to people in his apartment. He also founded the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1937 allowing him to run a museum officially by the state of New York.   

The Museum of Non-Objective-Painting was the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum and was founded on 24th East Street. Frank Lloyd Wright got the order to design the Guggenheim Museum in 1943, although it took him until 1956-1959 to put his plans into motion. Thomas M. Messer was the director of the museum from 1967 and influenced the Museum as well. He also tried his best to increase the collection and the reputation of the museum. The worldwide reputation that Guggenheim has earned today was in part due to Thomas M. Messer’s work.  

What to Experience at Guggenheim Museum

  • Top – You should start at the top and begin your journey by taking the elevator to the 6th floor. Start descending the spiral ramp and it will take you along to a series of exhibitions that feature art from different periods and styles. This ramp will be able to offer you a unique experience on every piece if you look at it from different angles.  
  • Tower Galleries – You shall reach the Tower Galleries if you keep descending. There are four galleries here that not only house temporary exhibitions but also offer brilliant views of Central Park. Make sure you catch “Going Dark: The Contemporary Figure at the Edge of Visibility” which shows partially hidden figures that are at the edge of visibility and “Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea” which showcases the everchanging socioeconomic conditions following the conclusion of the Korean War in the 1950’s.  
  • High Gallery – If you keep coming down, you will discover the High Gallery. It is a tall windowless cylinder that is situated off the ramp and is a distinct feature of the Guggenheim Museum. It is known for hosting single-artist installations that allow you to submerge into the work of one artist at a time.   
  • Interactive Displays – You can also engage with the work in a hands-on manner as the Guggenheim Museum has to offer interactive displays as well. The interactive displays help to give you a deeper context behind what the artist’s intention was and help you understand their work.   
  • Permanent Collections – There are nine private collections in Guggenheim’s permanent collection including Solomon R. Guggenheim’s collection of non-objective paintings, Karl Nierendorf’s collection of expressionism, and Peggy Guggenheim’s collection of abstraction and surrealism.   
  • Events – All through the year the museum holds a variety of lectures, workshops, performances, and many other special events. You will be able to learn from experts and get insights about the artworks if you decide to attend these events.   
  • Contemplate – After you have visited the museum, take some time off to reflect on it and contemplate the various artworks you have just witnessed. Sit in the museum’s bookstore and get inspired.   
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  • The Hermitage at Pontoise by Camille Pissaro (1830-1903) – While viewing this art, you should imagine a laidback afternoon in the French countryside as the painting looks to transport you just there. Take time to explore this serene escape and a moment frozen in time.  
  • Composition 8 by Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) – All your senses will have a feast as you prepare to have a feast of Kandinsky’s art. This art will surely challenge your perceptions of artistic expression and initiate your imagination.  

Best Time to Visit and Hours

To explore and discover most of the museum’s artwork, make sure you arrive at the museum early before noon. It will allow you to avoid heavy crowds and enjoy the artwork in peace. Monday is the busiest day of the week; this is because most of the museums are closed and hence Guggenheim is packed on that day. On Saturdays, after 5 pm there is a ‘Pay What You Wish’ policy that kicks in. There are also huge crowds during holiday seasons such as Christmas and it is best to avoid them.  

The museum is open every day from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm and members’ only hours are 6-8 pm. It is closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.

How to get there

The address for the Guggenheim Museum is 1071 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10128. Here are a few ways to get there.  

  • Bus – You should take the bus route that passes near Prudential Tower: 1, 39, 504, 9, BB. There are a variety of locations where you can take a bus to Prudential Tower such as from Kelly Beef’s Roast where it takes about 102 minutes.  
  • Metro – Green Line “E” has a Prudential Center stop that exits into the Center. Take the following subway lines that pass near Prudential Tower: Green Line D, Green Line E, and Orange Line.  
  • Car – It is easily accessible from I-90 and I-93 and is situated just two blocks from Black Bay Station with the commuter rails Amtrak and MBTA subway access.   


Cafe 3 is located on the third floor of the museum and is the perfect place to stop on your tour of the Guggenheim Museum. The cafe has a relaxed environment that is great for having just a snack or an entire luxurious meal. There is a wide range of options available on the menu including pastries, sandwiches, salads, and a range of beverages. The best part of Cafe 3 is the stunning view of Central Park from here. You can look out while enjoying your meal and admire the hustle and bustle of the city and the lush green of the park as well.  


Here are a few hotel options near the Guggenheim Museum.   

  • Luxury – The Carlyle, The Mark, and The Lowell.  
  • Economical– Courtyard by Marriot, Mount Morris Hotel, and Pod 51.  
  • Budget – The Central Park North, Hotel 99, and Aloft Harlem.  
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Remember to plan your visit to the museum as it can get busy, especially during peak visitor season. This will help you to avoid long lines and get the most out of your experience. Make sure you catch all the key exhibitions such as the Thannhauser Collection and the special exhibitions to make your visit more fulfilling. It can get cold in the winter so dress according to the weather or bring a jacket with you just in case.   

Bring a camera along with you to catch all the amazing moments and artwork. Get to learn about the museum’s history from the exhibits and information available to you at the Guggenheim Museum. Finally, relax and take your time while you’re there, this will allow you to appreciate the beauty of each artwork.   

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