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Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly Magazine Celebrates 60 Years of the Guggenheim

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Aug 13, 2019

For the upcoming issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation partnered with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation to share an in-depth look at one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known buildings. This special summer 2019 issue coincides with the 60th anniversary of when the Guggenheim first opened its doors to the public in 1959.

In the upcoming summer 2019 issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine, focusing on the 60th anniversary or the opening of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation partnered with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. We spoke with the Guggenheim’s Assistant Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Ashley Mendelsohn, to gain insight about the significance of this special anniversary and the intersection of art and architecture at the Guggenheim.


Construction of the Guggenheim’s main rotunda, 1956.

Despite the Guggenheim opening 60 years ago, it continues to show us that there’s still so much to learn about the intersection of art and architecture, and the experience of it all. How does this issue explore the larger themes associated with the intersection of art and architecture, while conveying the very personal and visceral experience of being in the Guggenheim?

Ashley Mendelsohn: Over the 60 years since the building opened in 1959, Wright’s intentions have been made manifest through a range of deliberate and thoughtful engagements with the building. From the beginning, he anticipated a range of mediation and interaction within his holistically designed building, and set the stage for a complex range of possibilities. This issue reflects on Wright’s design both through the lens of how the institution occupies and interprets the architecture and the lasting and broader impact of the building’s design.


Included in this issue is the Frank Lloyd Wright quote, “Space. The continual becoming: invisible fountain from which all rhythms flow and to which they must pass. Beyond time or infinity.” How is this idea conveyed throughout the magazine?

AM: Standing on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum construction site in 1957, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proclaimed, “It is all one thing, all an integral, not part upon part. This is the principle I’ve always worked toward.” The “principle” that Wright referred to is the design ideology that he developed over the course of his seventy-year career: organic architecture. At its core, that principle was an aspiration for spatial continuity, in which every element of a building would be conceived not as a discretely designed module, but as a constituent of the whole. Although not Wright’s intention per se, it is fitting that the building he conceived of as a living organism has evolved over time. That evolution is explicitly addressed throughout the issue.


What insights do you think people can gain from reading this issue of the Quarterly?

AM: Wright’s vision is relative to context and circumstance, and the historical significance of the structure has developed over time. Acknowledging the legitimacy of the layered, flexible authenticity of the Guggenheim Museum recognizes the structure as a living organism.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Hilla Rebay, and Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1945. © Donald Greenhaus.


Read more about how Frank Lloyd Wright’s Manhattan-masterpiece changed the way we observe and interact with art, light, architecture, and each other. Articles in “Standing Out in a Crowd: 60 Years of the Guggenheim,” explore topics including:

  • A 1957 writing about the Guggenheim by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • A conversation about designing exhibitions in the Guggenheim with the Guggenheim’s Director of Exhibition Design and Assistant Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives
  • Exclusive illustrations by graphic artist Max Dalton
  • Employee accounts of working in the Guggenheim
  • A photo essay by Andrew Pielage
  • And more!



To be among the first to see the summer 2019 issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine, subscribe to the magazine by becoming a member. 

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members receive the Quarterly as part of their membership benefits. The Quarterly offers readers an innovative look into the past, present, and future of Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy through thoughtful graphic and written explorations of the legendary architect’s work and the community it has created.




Header and cover image by Andrew Pielage.