Guggenheim Hermitage Museum and Guggenheim Las Vegas
Opened in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2001, the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum and Guggenheim Las Vegas were designed by Pritzker prize–winning architect Rem Koolhaas. The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, or “Jewel Box” as it came to be known, was conceived as a venue for the presentation of exhibitions based on the collections of the Guggenheim and Hermitage museums, while the 63,700-square-foot Guggenheim Las Vegas was designed for the presentation of special exhibitions. Both were architecturally noteworthy—the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum with its walls of Cor-Ten steel, a material with a rusted surface evocative of the velvet-covered walls in the 18th-century classical galleries at the Hermitage, and the Guggenheim Las Vegas with a 30-foot-wide lime-green processional staircase and 60-by-120-foot media wall.
The two venues presented diverse, world-class exhibitions, including the Guggenheim Hermitage exhibition Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums (2001), which featured 45 major examples of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern painting from these two world-renowned collections. The Guggenheim Las Vegas presented the highly acclaimed exhibition The Art of the Motorcycle, which was first shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1998. With more than 130 motorcycles, the landmark exhibition both explored and celebrated the motorcycle as a quintessential symbol of the Modern age. The installation was designed by architect Frank Gehry and featured enormous, curved and polished stainless steel walls, towering chain-link curtains, glass floors and partitions, large-scale graphics, and a sophisticated interpretation of the curators’ narrative.
The Guggenheim Las Vegas closed in 2003 and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum closed in 2008 having received over 1 million visitors.