The Art of the Motorcycle


Guggenheim Las Vegas
The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Opening Date:
October 7, 2001

The Guggenheim Museum's landmark exhibition, The Art of the Motorcycle, will inaugurate the Guggenheim Las Vegas with a new installation designed by Frank O. Gehry. The Art of the Motorcycle premiered in New York at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the summer of 1998, where it drew record numbers of visitors and was heralded as a ground-breaking cultural event. Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition traveled to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, where it also broke attendance records. The exhibition chronicles the most compelling moments in the evolution of motorcycle technology and design, and places the motorcycle within a cultural and historical context. More than 130 motorcycles are arranged chronologically, beginning with the Michaux Perreaux (1868)—essentially a steam engine attached to a bicycle—to the latest and most technologically advanced models. Punctuating the chronology are two thematic sections, which highlight custom motorcycles and post-World War II racing models. In addition, the exhibition will feature a large collection of approximately 200 pieces of motorcycle ephemera and memorabilia, including advertising and sales brochures, as well as original motorcycle posters, made available for the first time for the Las Vegas presentation. The exhibition will also contain a substantial video component.

Exhibition Design:
The exhibition installation is designed by Frank O. Gehry. Gehry is one of the world's preeminent architects and is the designer of the highly acclaimed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. He designed the installation of the exhibition when it was on view at the Guggenheim museums in both New York and Bilbao. For Las Vegas, Gehry has created his most ambitious installation to date. Featuring curved polished stainless steel walls, towering chain-link curtains and glass floors, the new design responds to both the massive scale of the new Guggenheim Las Vegas and the materials and craftsmanship of the motorcycles themselves.

This exhibition is made possible by BMW Motorcycles and proudly sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

The Art of the Motorcycle is curated by Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, in conjunction with Ultan Guilfoyle and Charles Falco. The Las Vegas venue for the exhibition is organized by the staff of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Ed Youngblood.

The Art of the Motorcycle, a fully illustrated, 400-page catalogue published by the Guggenheim Museum and distributed to the trade by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., will accompany the exhibition. It is edited by Matthew Drutt and includes essays about the design and social history of the motorcycle, questions of reconstruction and issues of originality, and the motorcycle's influence on popular culture, including cinema, fashion, and lifestyle. Catalogue authors include Hunter S. Thompson, Dennis Hopper, Melissa Pierson, Charles Falco, Art Simon, and others. It has been published in English, Spanish, and German. It is available for $45 softcover and $65 hardcover.

In addition, the Guggenheim Museum, in association with Universe Books, has published Motorcycle Mania: The Biker Book. Fully illustrated and 128 pages long, it contains a foreword by Thomas Krens, an introduction by Matthew Drutt, and contributions by Jon Thompson, David Robb, Ted Polhemus, Don Emde, Bud Ekins, and David Gross.

Museum Hours:
9 AM–11 PM, daily

Museum Admission:
$15 adults, $11 students, $7 children 6-12 (free for members and children under 6)

Public Information:
Telephone: (702) 414-2440
Telefax: (702) 414-2442

Advance Tickets:
Toll free 1-866-GUGGTIX (484-4849)

August 28, 2001

For Press Information: Betsy Ennis, Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787

Kurt Ouchida, Director of Communications
The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino
Telephone: (702) 414-4335
Telefax: (702) 414-4884