The History of the Guggenheim Muesum
I dedicate this book to: the creators of simple booklet, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Mancuso, and my parents.
I really want to make more people appreciate modern art. Also I want to include in the collection the most beautiful examples of non-objective art available. The only problem is that my museum is too small for more art. I think I need to make a new building, maybe it should be a permanent building. I’m going to hire a new architect, it could be someone well know.
Frank Lloyd Wright will be the architect and my old friend Hilla Rebay will be the art designer. Rebay and I worked together to make the paintings go into a museum, and they ended up in mine. While the building is under construction I’ll put the paintings on a venue.This notification that we are building a new museum has gotten people to give more to the collection. It’s going crazy I have already gotten over 730 pieces of art. The people won’t stop giving and giving, we have too much.
Wright’s idea’s are pretty fascinating, I love them so far. They are so abstract like their own piece of artwork, It’s the biggest piece of the collection. I like to call it “the mother of all art. I hope that this project pulls through or that we don’t see a big mistake. Wright is making my dreams come true, having my own giant museum of art. This won’t be like any other museum it will be special it’s own masterpiece.
Solomon R. Guggenheim
I’ve been Mr. Guggenheim’s art designer for many years, but Wright is unbelievable I’m doubting all his ideas because he has no good taste in color. Color is an very important element of art, he is definitely not using it right. An example is when he wants the museum to be red, it’s the color of blood he doesn’t want represent death does he? The worst part is that he keeps urging me to come down to tailem for the past 6 months to look at his plans.
I really wish he could send a model of his drawings to me not just keep asking me to see them. I keep scolding him for his bad ideas but he won’t stop coming up with them. He wants to put paintings on curved walls, he can’t curve the paintings with the wall so why? Persuading him could work, I already stopped him from using red. I really want to give him a stern talking too.
Finally I’m going to tailem to see more of Wrights plans. Hopefully he has come up with something good. supposedly he is going to share it at some hotel, I hope nothing goes wrong when he’s doing this. Wright comes up with the most ridiculous plans. I’m never going to be able to cooperate with him. This project doesn’t seem to get any better with Wright, it’s completely notorious.
New York Times Critic
These people who are building the Guggenheim are unfair, they have no right to tax-exempt status as an educational institution. Also that art designer has a “Doctrinaire attitude” and she traffics in “mystic double talk.” Furthermore, the chairman of trustees statements is so insufficient. I didn’t mention their names in the article, but I know I should’ve let everybody know. I wish Solomon could’ve actually hire some decent people for this project, but it’s too late.
To have beautiful sculptures in the storage I think is ridiculous. What do they think is going to happen to the paintings, “presumably they cannot be shown together lest the representational art contaminate the other. They are like kids who don’t like having their foods touching each other. I worry that this museum will keep it’s “present fanatic devotion.” Also their not only putting some art in storage, but their putting the best masterpieces they could possible hold. I definitely object to the exclusion of paintings that include recognizable figures.
In my book I said, So it might be a good beginning to cross-examine some of you trying to find out if some of you do know why knowledge of this thing we call organic-architecture is not what I would like it to be. As the architecture of today is called “modern” it already grows more and more superficial. Yes, it is now called “modern architecture” well… the real meaning. (the inner content) that would be so greatly beneficial in this thing (we call it organic architecture) is still missing. Hopefully this will make a change.
I’m the new person replacing Solomon R. Guggenheim after he died 7 years ago, It’s pretty ridiculous why they hired me 7 years later. The only thing I can be sure of is that I really hate that Wright guy, his plans just don’t help the building reach it’s limit. It’s so hard to get the dimensions to because the building is going up in a circle, it’s impossible. Wright wants to have all these bad ideas, and says that the old director approved them, like having skylights showing the artwork, but the better more efficient way is to put artificial lights. What doesn’t this person get, he making it harder for himself for the wrong reason. Also Wright almost doesn’t have any space for offices everything is for the art, we don’t have enough space to work in those tiny rooms, it’s very difficult.
I feel like I should be doing things behind his back, it would be for the better. Hey George make more space for the offices and a little more the storage too. Wright says I’m acting like I’m comparing the museum to Medici, I don’t think I’m even close to that. One thing that he thought of is that the paintings should go on the walls, it’s stupendously horrible. The walls are curved, the paintings are straight you can’t possibly curve the paintings without ripping them, who would ever think that.
Today I got a letter from 21 artists, they say Wrights plans are horrible for their masterpieces. They think that the museum itself will distract the viewers from actually observing the artwork. the building itself is art and nobody would care about the artwork only the building. Wright thinks that I said to the artists to the write all this stuff about the plans. He doesn’t really care because he says that harry still won’t make changes to the project.
The New Director
Harry F. Guggenheim
The Cairman of Trustees
I just announced the groundbreaking for the new Guggenheim museum,It’s going to be great. Nevermind Wright is really getting on my nerves, he created a new word. He calls it “Archeseum” which means to him to see the highest. It’s frustrating he won’t stop saying it over and over, but then I yell at him to lay off the word ARCHESEUM! Finally he stopped, It was horrible. What’s even worse is that Wright and Sweeney won’t stop fighting over the museum, I really don’t know what to do.
I feel like I’m always being caught between two strong-willed men, when they fight. Just when we hire the construction crew Wright says to me that the construction should be documented. At the time I really felt like I was supporting Wright rather than Sweeney, but I really I didn’t like Wright any better than Sweeney. Again Wright is bothering me, he is asking for more money for the project saying that “the foundation money from Solomon ran out.” I wish they could stop fighting, why can’t they agree on something.
After I gave more of the money to Wright some things started to happen. I sent a letter to him saying “ I see that you can only agree on one thing, how to spend Solomon R. Guggenheim’s money. all it seems that is happening is that he keeps spending money on things and I keep giving him more. I think that might be a big problem but not at the same time because if I stop then he won’t use as much, but if I do then he will get more creative and he will be able to make the museum better. This is a really hard decision but I think it would be worth it to keep paying him..
I really don’t want people to see this as any old museum, it’s different, it’s special. That’s why I need more money so I can make Solomon proud if he was here. The new guy John Sweeney doesn’t know what in the world he’s doing, putting artificial lighting is a horrible idea, “A humanist must believe that any picture in fixed light is only a fixed picture.” His ideas are a betrayal of the spirit of the museum. Does he think he can sabotage the plans for this great museum, what an evil person.
I was so mad I said “Jim tell me - did you expect to destroy the idea of the Guggenheim at the last and psychological moment as so often reported.” Also harry is bugging me, I like calling the museum “archeseum” which to me means “to see the highest.” He won’t let me say it anymore even though it doesn’t even mean anything to him. When I explained to him that we should document the construction he was happy about it. Everyone is saying the design is so weird and nobody will like it, I say “when the first Atomic bomb lands while everything else blows up, the museum will go high into the air, but when it comes back down it will bounce!”
I got a letter today from the 21 artists, it was very bad. They said that my plan was bad, and that they wouldn’t actually want to put there paintings and sculptures there. The reason why they say that is because they think that everyone will be distracted from the artwork and only admire the building. I think I know who was up to this, Sweeney. He probably encouraged the artists to say this to me, again what an evil devil.
Frank Lloyd Wright
20 other artists and I sent a letter to John Sweeney and Frank Lloyd Wright. In our letter we said that we didn’t like Wrights plans and expectations for the building. It argues that the nautilus-shaped museum will detract the viewers from the paintings. Also it states that the interior design of the building is not suitable for a sympathetic display of painting and sculptures. Moreover, the curves on the walls obviously indicate that he doesn’t care about the paintings.
Hopefully harry can reconsider the plans for the building so our requests could be used. We really want to lower the chances of Wright’s ideas being taken to hand. Our paintings aren’t just sit there without anybody looking at them. We want our paintings to stand out so people can admire their beauty. Wright’s designs and ideas will just ruin that, and our work will be nothing.
Great, Wright was enraged by the letter; maybe he will get so made he quits. He thinks Sweeney made us write this letter to them. there is no way we would do something just because someone told us to. Actually he got so made he fired off a telegram to Sweeney about how menacing that was. to send a letter about a museum to the architect is hard, very hard.
George N. Cohen
I have a big company, we actually have worked on the tappan zee bridge. Now I was hired by Frank Lloyd Wright to build the Guggenheim museum. The reason he hired me was because my company’s an expert with concrete. He’s very unusual he wants the whole building to be made out of concrete, but I like it. we have to pour and spray concrete basically, everywhere.
“There’s nothing I like better than a reinforced-concrete job of unusual nature and that’s certainly what it is.” One of my men said that his coworkers talk about Wright as much as they do about women. Some of my men say this is one of the screwiest jobs they ever got into. Also some think Wright is crazy because he’s using concrete almost for everything.
All and all my workers liked the job, it was very interesting for them to build a spiral type building. They even made their own sculpture to go into the museum. They’re really great people, even though some thought it wasn’t too great of an idea it pulled through. There was a guy named John Sweeney though, he kept telling us things to do even though they weren’t part of the plan. People can sometimes be interesting, but sometimes creepy.
Timeline of architectual plans or bluprints of the Guggenheim
Solomon R. Guggenheim, a member of a wealthy mining family, began collecting works of the old masters in the 1890s. He retired from his business in 1919 to devote more time to art collecting. In 1926, at age 66, he met artist Hilla von Rebay, who was told to come by Guggenheim's wife, Irene Rothschild, to paint his portrait. Rebay introduced him to European art, in particular abstract art that she felt had a spiritual aspect (non objectiveart). Guggenheim completely changed his collecting strategy. In 1930, the two visited Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Dessau, Germany, and Guggenheim began to purchase Kandinsky's work. The same year, Guggenheim began to display the collection to the public at his apartment in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Guggenheim's purchases continued with the works of Rudolf Bauer, Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay, and great artists who were not of the non-objective school, such as Marc Chagall, Albert Gleizes, Pablo Picasso and László Moholy-Nagy.
The Guggenheim foundation