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Paintings from the Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Thomas M. Messer
Published in 1965
88 pages, fully illustrated
This catalogue provides a snapshot of the Guggenheim's collection in 1965. Under the museum's third director, Thomas Messer, the collection had grown past its original core of non-objective paintings to contain around 4,000 works from the late 19th-century to the present day. The catalogue includes 84 color and black-and-white reproductions of significant works in the exhibition, arranged chronologically to illustrate the scope of the collection at this turning point in the Guggenheim Museum's history.
The Collection contains, at present, approximately 4,000 works and, apart from a few marginal examples, begins with the late nineteenth century, reaches forward to our day, and covers, in various degrees of concentration, the intervening decades of the twentieth century. Its main strength is in the area of early abstraction and semi-abstraction where, among painters greatly valued today. Kandinsky with more than one hundred thirty works remains the Museum's greatest asset. Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes, Marc Chagall, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Fernand Leger are other twentieth-century masters of whom the Guggenheim owns a substantial number of important works. The generations of expressionists, dada painters and surrealists are, on the other hand, only nominally represented and no continuous view of these phases may, as yet, be obtained through this Museum's Collection. In sculpture—a medium which entered the scope of our Collection later than painting—only Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder and Archipenko may be seen through numerous and major works. Giacometti, Pevsner, Gabo, Duchamp-Villon, Ernst and others within the same generation are also represented through one or more works.