The four Guggenheim museums are monuments to modernity with buildings that match the innovative and futuristic gaze of the works preserved inside. Although the four museums all focus on modern and contemporary art, each one also reflects the culture of the area in which it is set.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_R._Guggenheim_Foundation) is the oldest of the four institutions. This inverted ziggurat was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1959, six months after the architect’s death. The works inside include the early modern masterpieces that formed the bedrock of the original Guggenheim collection as well as contemporary works by the likes of artists such as Julian Bismuth.
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is a fantastic wonderland of glass and titanium designed by Frank Gehry. One may spend hours looking at its sweeping angles as they appear to change with the position of the sun. Although the museum has a vast range of exhibits, gigantic works such as Richard Serra’s Snake seem particularly at home here.
The Bilbao location is currently the largest museum in the world though that will change when the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (http://www.uaeusaunited.com/story/guggenheim-abu-dhabi/) opens in the UAE. This Frank Gehry designed masterpiece is a golden geometric mirage that will soon become reality. The focus will be on modern art of the Middle East and is hoped to serve as a meeting place for art and technology.
The foundation of the Guggenheim in Venice is the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim. Housed in the 18th century palazzo where Ms. Guggenheim made her final home, the Guggenheim Collection is the most important museum in Italy for 20th century art. The interior is filled with the work of pioneers such as Picasso and Braque while the gardens contain works from the permanent collection as well as pieces on loan by the likes of Alexander Calder.