If you’re looking for a museum in New York City to visit, consider visiting the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. Located on 5th Avenue and 89th Street, the Guggenheim is one of several museums on Museum Mile on the Upper East Side and probably the most unique. It isn’t nearly as big as the Met, which makes it a great museum to spend a morning or afternoon in without feeling too overwhelmed.
Interesting facts about the Guggenheim
The Guggenheim Museum is definitely the most architecturally interesting museum I’ve visited. Originally designed to be painted red, the Guggenheim opened at its current location in 1959 after a 16-year design and construction period. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed it to look like an inverted ziggurat (which looks akin to an alien spaceship if you ask me) but unfortunately died six months prior to the opening of the museum.
The Guggenheim houses early modernist works in its permanent collection and everything from impressionist paintings to a giant robotic arm in its temporary exhibitions. Inside, the temporary collection circles the ramp, which is the main focal point of the building. In total, you’ll walk about a quarter of a mile up the ramp, not including your detours into the other galleries.
I visited on one of the last days of the Agnes Martin exhibition. She created works composed of grids and stripes that, to someone who feels peace when intense order and perfection surround me, were beautiful. My brother, on the other hand, said it wasn’t art because he could do the same thing… Your experience at the Guggenheim will largely depend on the temporary exhibition on display as it will take up the most prominent spaces of the museum.
Inside the Guggenheim
The coolest thing about the Guggenheim, in my opinion, is the actual interior of the building. It’s just one giant circular ramp around the building itself, which doesn’t necessarily make for peaceful gallery viewing, but it does make for some pretty cool photos.
I felt almost like I was in a beehive or anthill, circling up higher and higher. The lines and viewpoints are a photographer’s paradise!
Tips for visiting the Guggenheim
All in all, the Guggenheim is very cool. Even my brother, who dislikes art, had to admit that the building itself was worth visiting!
- Address: 1071 Fifth Ave (between 88th and 89th streets) | Accessible by 4-5-6 and Q trains
- Hours: Sun-Wed 10AM-5:45 PM; Thurs Closed; Saturday 10AM-7:45 PM
- Tickets: $25 Adults; $18 Students and Seniors; $0 Children under 12 and Members
- I highly recommend buying tickets online in advance
- Every Saturday from 5:45-7:45, visitors can pay what they wish for admission
- If you’re willing to wait in a ridiculously long line, don’t miss the golden toilet!