Guggenheim Museums

By Deane Barker

The Guggenheim in New York City

(Credit: Google Street View)

These are a series of museums – existing, closed, or planned – which were funded by the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation.

Guggenheim was a wealthy patron of the arts whose family made its fortune in mining and gold exploration. He died in 1949.

Guggenheim created the foundation that bears his name in 1939. He displayed his personal collection at his apartment in New York City, then at a temporary building. After he died, his niece, Peggy Guggenheim, continued the foundation’s work, eventually opening the famous spiral Guggenheim museum in New York City.

Several other Guggenheim museums have followed, the most famous of which is likely the museum in Bilbao, Spain, designed by architect Frank Geary which opened in 1997. There have been other showings and exhibitions of various permanence in Las Vegas and Venice.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open in Dubai in 2025.

Why I Looked It Up

I vaguely knew of the New York museum. Then, in the opening of the James Bond movie The World is Not Enough, there is a scene at the Guggenheim in Bilbao. I was a bit confused at which was the Guggenheim.

Then, I was reading How Big Things Get Done, and one of the case studies was the Guggenheim in Bilbao (apparently it was a perfect project that came in on schedule and under budget). The author kept referring to a Guggenheim (not “the Guggenheim”), which increased my confusion a bit.

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