In 2006, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum became the first modern art museum in the West to hire a senior curator of Asian art, cementing its commitment to integrate the study, research, and presentation of Asian art into its exhibition, education, and acquisitions strategies. In the years since then, the Guggenheim has developed a robust Asian Art Initiative that includes a diverse roster of exhibitions supported by award-winning scholarly catalogues, a curatorial fellowship, and an advisory council—all advancing the initiative’s central goal to promote a transnational understanding of art history with a focus on Asian art. While actively growing its collection of Asian art, the museum has mounted a series of groundbreaking shows organized under the auspices of the Asian Art Initiative, including The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 (2009), winner of the 2009 International Association of Art Critics award for the Best Thematic Museum Show in New York City; and Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity (2011). The Asian Art Curatorial Fellowship, generously supported by the Contemporary Art Foundation, Taiwan, allows emerging scholars of Asian art to gain valuable hands-on experience working in the museum’s Asian Art Department; while the Asian Art Council, comprised of some twenty critics, academics, curators, and artists, continues to guide and critique the intellectual and strategic development of the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative within the context of a modern art museum with an international scope and vision.
In 2011, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Evelyn Sharp Foundation, and the Leon Levy Foundation generously contributed toward renovation of the museum’s eighth floor and naming of the Mary Sharp Cronson Boardroom in honor of Mrs. Cronson’s dedicated service as a member of the Guggenheim’s Board of Trustees and her work as Founder and Producer of Works & Process. Support from all three foundations helped to underwrite the expense of transforming the museum’s eighth floor into flexible-use space that can better accommodate the Guggenheim’s Board of Trustees and also serve as a hub for educational programs, symposia, and workshops. The newly renovated space is also becoming an important gathering place for artists, donors, visiting scholars, and other key constituents.
The Guggenheim is also grateful to the city and state of New York for supporting its major multi-million dollar restoration project to refurbish the museum’s exterior and upgrade key building infrastructure systems, completed in 2008. Additional funding from the city and state is currently supporting projects—from elevator renovation and lighting upgrades to construction of an on-site conservation lab and updated security systems—that will help ensure the ongoing integrity of the restoration while supporting the Guggenheim’s capacity to best serve as broad a public as possible in the museum’s landmark building.
Please contact us for information about the many capital projects in need of support at the Guggenheim.