One of the places I have really looked forward to going to in New York was the Guggenheim – to be honest it is the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture that is the greatest attraction rather than the art.
So was I impressed? As far as the building is concerned yes and no – from the outside it is amazing and still looks ‘out of this world’ so many years from its construction.
But, from a functional building point of view it saddens me to say that I don’t think it works – it’s a real case of design over function. During our visit the James Turrell exhibition was taking place and the central atrium area formed the major part of this exhibition, and with its constantly changing colours in the rising atrium area – it was amazing. Seeing whole groups of people lying on the floor looking up into the void was quite surreal! I was also allowed to take photos in this area which was nice. But, any attempt to take photos elsewhere in the building (of the building or the art work) were banned – I even saw one person ejected for breaking the rules! I may be wrong but I think this is a bit ‘over protective’ and unnecessary when people are coming to see the building. Or is it so they can try to sell me pictures as I can’t take them?
Also the attitude of the people running it is not great in my opinion – it seems that all they want is your money! This is America so perhaps that is only to be expected. I would recommend anyone to see the Guggenheim – but from the outside only.