The New Yorker and its vision of Guggenheim’s 1959 Opening

The New Yorker and its vision of Guggenheim’s 1959 Opening
metalocus, ÁNGEL BLANCO
Cartoon by Alan Dunn. October 1959. Courtesy of The New Yorker
When the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in the fall of 1959, (October 21st) its first visitors in hats and furs crowded to see it, range of reactions from the public soon prompted “fiery debate”, acording the words of the New York Times.
There were many opinions, from  disgust to wonderment: “One of Mr. Wright’s most joyous monstrosities,” said the New York Mirror, and another reporter described the experience of “slither[ing] up the ramp, one hip higher than the other.” Meanwhile, architect Philip Johnson declared the museum to be Mr. Wright’s greatest building. New York’s greatest building.”

New Yorker captured this hot-button cultural moment in a series of witty cartoons published in the magazine that simultaneously lampooned both the innovative architecture and its critics, and which were recently shared in a blog post by the Guggenheim Museum.

Through detailed sketches, cartoonist Alan Dunn, which worked for the magazine for 47 years, showed detailed representations of the building with all kind of cuff from  visitors.

Emma Allen, the present-day cartoon editor of the New Yorker, notes, “Dunn’s talents as an architectural draftsman imbue the scene with a feeling of something reported, believably real. I’m not certain whether the dialogue was overheard, imagined, or a combination of the two, but more


Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1869 and died in Phoenix, Arizona in 1959. He is considered as one of the Modern Movement’s father in architecture and one of the most important architects of the XX Century, together with Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Wright was placed in Chicago, San Francisco, Spring Green (Wisconsin) and Phoenix more