The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Ave., at 89th St., 212/423-3500, www.guggenheim.org, 10 a.m.–5:45 p.m. Fri. and Sun.–Wed., 10 a.m.–7:45 p.m. Sat., adults $15, students and seniors $10, children under 12 free, pay-as-you-wish 5:45–7:45 p.m. Sat.) first opened its doors in 1959, and immediately met with considerable controversy. The city’s only Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building, it was compared to everything from a snail to a toilet bowl.
Nowadays it’s hard to see what the fuss was about. From the outside, the circular building seems as permanent a part of 5th Avenue as the neoclassic buildings that surround it, while from the inside, the multileveled spirals of the main galleries seem almost staid. To show how times have changed, the museum was even declared a New York City landmark in 1989.
Works by Picasso, Rousseau, van Gogh, Modigliani, and Seurat, to name but a few, are on permanent display, and they’re a stunning group, not to be missed. Also abutting the main galleries is a 10-story tower with lots more exhibition space, lit by skylights, and an outdoor sculpture garden.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition