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How the Guggenheim Museum Works


Guggenheim Museum Collection
Artist Roy Lichtenstein poses at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City in October 1993. Lichtenstein was a pioneer of the Pop Art movement and best known for his oversized comic book-style images.
Artist Roy Lichtenstein poses at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City in October 1993. Lichtenstein was a pioneer of the Pop Art movement and best known for his oversized comic book-style images.
AP Photo/Chrystyna Czajkowsky

On the previous pages, we've talked about what the Guggenheim Museum is and how it came to be. Here we'll take a look at just what it is that you'll find there.

The assorted Guggenheim museums and tours vary in what they offer to visitors. Special exhibits and the international flavor of the museums mean you'll take in a different experience from one museum to the next and even at the same museum when visited over time. In addition to New York, the Guggenheim has locations in Venice, Italy; Bilbao, Spain; Berlin and one is under development on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.

The core Guggenheim holdings are, according to the museum's own Web site, "essentially the story of several very different private collections. Central among these are Solomon R. Guggenheim's collection of nonobjective painting premised on a belief in the spiritual dimensions of pure abstraction; his niece Peggy Guggenheim's collection of abstract and Surrealist painting and sculpture; Justin K. Thannhauser's array of Impressionist, Post Impressionist, and early modern masterpieces; and Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo's vast holdings of European and American Minimalist, Post-Minimalist, Environmental, and Conceptual art" [source: Guggenheim.org].

Young children dragged along on family vacations might not have yet developed an appreciation for the distinctions between "nonobjective, Minimalist, and Post-Minimalist" works, but could almost certainly find something to like about the Family Tour and Workshop programs.

The Guggenheim has guided family programs and also offers "Family Activity Packs" filled with suggestions of things to do while at the museum, along with materials (picture books, sketch pads, pencils and so on) to accommodate young artists.

For the most up-to-date information on exhibits, tours and how much admission will cost you, it's always a good idea to call ahead of time or check out the museum's Web site.

So if you're looking for a fascinating, educational and fun family vacation spot, museums like the Guggenheim can offer an enjoyable approach to art while providing a cool escape from the outdoors if you happen to be visiting New York on a stifling hot summer day.

For more information about the Guggenheim Museum and other related topics, follow the links on the next page.