by Radha G
The Guggenheim Museum for locals and tourists,even if you are not a Fine Art Connoisseur.
|Winters are usually spent indoors. Either watching movies , television or playing games. The enthusiast spends it outdoors engaging in winter sports. People like me , look for options to spend the winters outdoors with the comfort of indoors. With this thought in mind I began looking for various places I could go to.
My husband suggested 'The Guggenheim' museum at New York. My first response was that of disinterest. I thought it wouldn't be enjoyable,considering the fact that I did not have a 'Fine Arts' background. However he convinced me , stating that tourists from all over the country and the world came to see the Museum and that I should not give up a chance to see this iconic Landmark.
We started on a saturday afternoon. As we walked along the 5th Avenue , I realised we were right in front of Central Park. And when we turned right , lo and behold ! The magnificent structure made me stare with awe. The building no doubt is an Architectural marvel. It's shaped like a tea cup and the entire structure to say the least is – impressive.
The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum was opened on October, 21 1959. Frank Lloyd Wright architected this edifice.
On entering the museum, the sheer number of visitors astounded me . This kind of attendance spoke volumes about the popularity of The Guggenheim. The New york Times reported that the Museum had 1,164,098 visitors in 2009, a 16 percent more than in 2008 and the tribe was increasing.
As I looked around, the unusual structure encircling me overwhelmed me with a feeling of reverence. The entire building is a spiraling ramp. The grand ramp curves from the ground to the Guggenheim dome. Walking in the interiors is extremely enjoyable which itself makes the Museum experience exclusive.
This experience is accentuated by the Audio tour. The Museum offers a free of cost hand held device providing a guided tour of the Museum and its Artworks. The Museum houses the works of renowned painters and artists including Brancusi, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Giacometti, Kandinsky, Klee, Leger, Miro, Pablo Picasso, and Van Gogh. The Audio tour not only provides information to the Fine Art connoisseurs but also enriches the visual experience of the not-so-knowledgeable visitors like me. Highly recommended.
Currently on display is the exhibition - 'Chaos and Classicism': Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918-1936. The exhibition showcases the work of the contemporary Artists depicting the Post World War I scenario. The work reflects the new styles that emerged in the Art form during that period. One of the most striking paintings was ' The Street' by the French painter Balthus. The painting describes the every day life on a street in Paris. Though the street is supposedly noisy , there is a strange stillness that comes through. It's amazing to see time frozen on a busy street. The contrast grabs your attention.
The Guggenheim Museum is open throughout the year except Thursdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. It's open from 10 am–5:45 pm on all days and on Saturdays from 10 am–7:45 pm. The Museum charges Adults $18, Students and Seniors (65 years +) with valid ID $15 and Children under 12 are Free. On Saturday evenings beginning at 5:45 pm the museum hosts Pay What You Wish, in which admission is by donation. All backpacks, large umbrellas, strollers and bags and large packages must be checked in the coatroom. The use of photography (cameras, camera phones, video equipment) and cellular phones is permitted only on the ground floor. However pencils, sketchbooks, and notebooks are permitted. But pens, paints, and easels are not permitted.
Before you realise, you have spent half a day going through the galleries and exploring the building. This can make you hungry. The Guggenheim also has very good arrangements for food.
As we got ready to leave, it dawned upon me that The Guggenheim was one of the most engaging Museum visits I ever had. You don't need to be a Fine Art Connoisseur to embrace this experience. Keep your mind open and step into this Art House of Modern and Contemporary Art, and you will never be disappointed. I knew with certainty, I had created for myself - a memory.