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How the Guggenheim Museum Works

The Guggenheim Museum at 89th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City on May 15, 1968. See more pictures of American landmarks.

Take a stroll down Fifth Avenue on New York's Upper East Side and eventually you'll find yourself staring up at a curving, cylindrical structure that looks as if it was teleported from another world.

Don't worry -- the aliens haven't landed. That oddly shaped building is the famous Guggenheim Museum, one of several Guggenheim museums that have opened over the years. A lightning rod for controversy when it opened in the fall of 1959, the distinctive building designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is today considered one of the most important works of art and architecture ever created.

As a result, it's one of the most popular destinations in New York City for culture-minded visitors seeking museums and tours. Not surprisingly, it's often on the itinerary for family vacations, as parents wish to show their kids that art can be more than just the cover illustrations from the latest Sony PlayStation game.

In this article, you'll find out what you should know about the Guggenheim if you plan to make it a stop on an upcoming family vacation to the Big Apple. Over the next few pages, you'll find information about tours, the Guggenheim collection and even the spin-off Guggenheim museums outside of New York City.

Read the next page for essential Guggenheim information.