History - Foundation History

After the opening of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Guggenheim Foundation further expanded its reach by collaborating with Deutsche Bank on an exhibition space in Berlin. From opening its doors in 1997 to closing its final exhibition in 2013, the Deutsche Guggenheim presented a dynamic annual schedule of four exhibitions complemented by educational programming. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this programming were the Deutsche Guggenheim’s commissions, which charged contemporary artists with creating artworks or series that then debuted in exhibitions organized in collaboration with Guggenheim Museum curators. Working in a diversity of mediums, the artists, including William Kentridge, Jeff Koons, James Rosenquist, Phoebe Washburn, and Rachel Whiteread, created some of their best work. The vibrant programming and commissions at the Deutsche Guggenheim are a testament to the Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank's commitment to artists and public access to contemporary art.

Installation view of John Baldessari: Somewhere Between Almost Right and Not Quite (with Orange) (2004–2005) at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin

Installation view of Art through the Ages: Masterpieces of Painting from Titian to Picasso (2002) at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Las Vegas

Model, Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi. Photo: Martin Pfeiffer

In 2001 the Guggenheim Foundation and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg jointly opened the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. This small museum, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Rem Koolhaas, focused on presenting masterworks from the permanent collections of the allied museums. The inaugural exhibition, Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums, showcased a selection of 42 key works highlighting the distinct but highly complementary strengths of these two world-renowned collections. In May of 2008 the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, known as the “Jewel Box,” concluded its seven-year tenure at the Venetian, attracting over 1.1 million visitors with ten exhibitions of masterworks by leading artists from the last six centuries—from Van Eyck, Titian, and Velázquez, to Van Gogh, Picasso, and Pollock.

In the past ten years the Guggenheim Foundation has conducted numerous feasibility studies for projects in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Currently, the foundation, in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, is conducting a study for a new museum in Vilnius. While managing existing museums and exploring new ventures the Guggenheim Foundation regularly travels its loan exhibitions and coorganizes exhibitions with other museums in order to share its expertise and strengthen public outreach. Occasionally the foundation receives requests for cultural programming on a broader international scale, providing the opportunity to organize an exhibition of its global collections that is specifically tailored for another international venue. The aim of this collection exhibition program is to educate the public about modern and contemporary art through the celebrated Guggenheim collections.

Today the Guggenheim operates museums in New York, Venice, and Bilbao, with plans for a fourth in Abu Dhabi. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, a 450,000 square foot museum of modern and contemporary art, will be built on Saadiyat Island, adjacent to the main island of Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The Guggenheim joins the Louvre and other leading institutions in the unprecedented creation of a vibrant cultural district in the Middle East. With nearly three million annual visitors worldwide, the Guggenheim and its network of museums is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the world.

Frank Lloyd Wright

View an interactive time line documenting the design and construction of the Guggenheim Museum.

Wah Nu and Tun Win Aung, Four Pieces (of White), 2012

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