G – From Garish to Glorious: The Tale of the Guggenheim Museum


“The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a war between architecture and painting in which both come out badly maimed.” – John Canaday

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” – Frank Gehry

As an artist, do you ever feel misunderstood by your audience?  If so, then architect Frank Lloyd Wright knew the feeling.

In the late 1940s, Wright was employed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to build a beautiful museum – a “temple of the spirit” – where people from around the world could gather to view modern art.  Solomon R. Guggenheim – the member of a wealthy mining family – had been collecting pieces from the masters since the 1890s, and wanted to share his vast collection with the world.

Frank Lloyd Wright was known for his ability to blend works of architecture seamlessly into the sea of their surroundings.  Take this home, for example, aptly named Falling Water (this is my dream home, by the way):


Word got out, and the citizens of New York waited breathlessly for Wright’s latest masterpiece.  When the building was finally constructed in 1959, however, the public flew into an outrage.  Instead of a beautiful, understated building Wright had created an egg-shaped dome which stood out on the streets of Manhattan like a sore thumb from an alien planet!

What was at first detested by the masses, however, has since become one of the most famous museums ever constructed.  In 2013 alone, over 1.2 million people traveled from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of its sleek, modern design filled with smooth, circular pathways.   It turns out that Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t a madman after all… he was simply ahead of his time.

Do you ever fear that you or your work will be overlooked or misunderstood?  Allow the tale of the Guggenheim Museum to encourage and inspire you.  While you may be mocked today for being a lousy artist, there might just come a day when you’ll be hailed as an absolute genius!



Today’s post is part of the A-to-Z Challenge, where participants commit to posting one article for each day during the month of April – one for every letter of the alphabet.

Check back here at “The Artistic Christian” for a daily slice of art (art reviews, practical tips, and motivation for artists), all steeped in a rich Christian worldview.


6 thoughts on “G – From Garish to Glorious: The Tale of the Guggenheim Museum

  1. A good inspirational post to keep believing in what you are doing no matter what others say. There will always be critics who don’t like your work, but if you are happy with it yourself, you will find others who like it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself! My mother used to tell me that we don’t need to tear ourselves down because there will always be someone else willing to do it for you. Instead, we need to build ourselves up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the Guggenheim, inside too – it’s great to stand at the top and look down. Totally agree about Falling Water which I’d love to visit. I have been to one FLW house (in Virginia I think) but it wasn’t as spectacular as that.

    Liked by 1 person

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