Topics for Further Discussion

Topics for Further Discussion

"A Temple of Spirit"

Hilla Rebay's 1943 letter to Frank Lloyd Wright asked him to design "a temple of spirit." People have varying ideas about what makes a place spiritual. For some, it may be a natural environment, like a forest or a beach. For others, a church, synagogue, mosque, or other building is the site that supports a spiritual experience. Ask each student to brainstorm a list of words they would use to describe the perfect spiritual environment. Ask them to make a sketch, model, or narrative description of that place. Then, have students present their visions to the class.

Reacting to Innovation

When the Guggenheim Museum first opened to the public in 1959 some people objected to it. People protested, wrote angry letters, and published satirical cartoons about its unique architecture. Here are some of the cartoons that appeared in magazines and newspapers.

"There Goes the Neighborhood"

What does the museum remind you of? Why do you think some people were initially so upset by its design? In her book There Goes the Neighborhood, author Susan Goldman Rubin cites many examples of buildings that were criticized when they were first built, but have eventually been embraced by the public. Do you know examples of art, literature, architecture, inventions, or ideas that initially prompted public criticism eventually won acceptance? What are they? Why do you think they were criticized?

Achieving Landmark Status

In 1990 the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the Guggenheim Museum an official landmark. It is the youngest building ever to receive such recognition.

What do we mean when we call a building a "landmark"? Can you name a landmark that you have visited? Why do you think it is considered a landmark? What building(s) would you nominate for official landmark status? Why?

On View

This presentation, comprised of selected materials from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, pays homage to the first Frank Lloyd Wright–designed structures in New York City.

Works & Process

Photo: Petrus Sjövik

The world's great artists want to show you how they work. Works & Process provides extraordinary access to artists and intellectuals, blending performance and discussion about the creative process. Subscribe to e-news for updates and special offers.


Midwinter Break Camp
Monday–Friday, February 15–19, 9:30 am–4 pm

In this exciting five-day vacation camp, kids will focus on building and improving their creative skills through gallery and studio explorations with teaching artists.

More events

At the Carpet Shop, 1979. From Sausage Series, 1979

Lesson Plans
for Teachers

Develop lesson plans for the exhibition Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better using the free Arts Curriculum Online.

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