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FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION - THAT HAS BEEN
         MISUNDERSTOOD. FORM AND FUNCTION SHOULD BE ONE,
                                 JOINED IN A SPIRITUAL UNION.
                                           Frank Lloyd Wright





         As a young architect Frank Lloyd Wright worked for Louis   paintings to motorcycles to site-specific installations by
         Sullivan (1856–1924) in his Chicago-based architecture   contemporary artists. According to former Guggenheim
         firm. Sullivan is known for steel-frame constructions,   Director Tom Krens, “great architecture has this capacity
         considered some of the earliest skyscrapers. Sullivan’s   to adapt to changing functional uses without losing one
         famous axiom, “form follows function,” became the    bit of its dignity or one bit of its original intention. And I
         touchstone for many architects. This means that the   think that’s the great thing about the building at the end
         purpose of a building should be the starting point for its   of the day.”
         design. Wright extended the teachings of his mentor by
         changing the phrase to “form and function are one.”  Up to the very end of his life, Wright carried on a battle to
                                                              be sure that the Guggenheim embodied his belief in the
         This principle is thoroughly visible in the plan for the   unity of form and function. On July 15, 1958, less than a
         Guggenheim Museum. According to Wright’s design,     year before his death, he wrote a letter that underscored
         visitors would enter the building, take an elevator to the   the connection between his design for the Guggenheim
         top and enjoy a continuous art-viewing experience while   and the paintings it would exhibit. “Yes, it is hard…to
         descending along the spiral ramp.                    understand a struggle for harmony and unity between the
                                                              painting and the building. No, it is not to subjugate the
         Wright’s design for the Guggenheim has sometimes been   paintings to the building that I conceived this plan. On the
         criticized for being inhospitable to the art it displays.   contrary, it was to make the building and the painting a
         However, over the past five decades Wright’s design has   beautiful symphony such as never existed in the world of
         housed a wide variety of exhibitions, from traditional   Art before.









         Installation view: Guggenheim International Exhibition 1960 -1961, Solomon   Installation view: Jenny Holzer: For the Guggenheim 2008, Solomon
         R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: Robert E. Mates © The Solomon R.   R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: David Heald © Solomon R.
         Guggenheim Foundation, New York                      Guggenheim Foundation




























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