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    Solomon R. Guggenheim MuseumSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum Manhattan, New York
    The Guggenheim as it is more often referred to is a famous museum situated on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, with a permanent collection of numerous other famous and well known collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, contemporary and early modern artworks, that hosts many outstanding special exhibitions during the year, within a unique structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; and is considered one of the 20th century's most significant architectural landmarks in the world. It opened in 1959, and was the second museum opened by the Guggenheim Foundation, just recently enjoying a three year inclusive renovation. Solomon Guggenheim was born into the mining family of Guggenheims, who would eventually found the Yukon Gold Company in Alaska, but retired in 1919 to begin another career in art collection, and in 1937, he would create the foundation to foster better appreciation of modern art, and passing away in 1949. Solomon, would be advised by his art advisor, Hilla Rebay, a German painter, to begin collecting works by nonobjective artists in 1929, as Guggenheim began to show his collection in his apartment. The Guggenheim foundation's first museum, opened in 1939 and was called the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, opened in a rented space, and would showcase such early modernists as Rudolf Bauer, Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and Hilla Rebay, eventually acquiring such works created by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay and Armedo Modigliani.

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    New York Museum of Natural HistoryNew York Museum of Natural History Manhattan, New York
    The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) can be found on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as one of the biggest and most celebrated museums in the world, with park like grounds, just across the street from Central Park, and is made of 25 interconnected structures that contain 46 permanent exhibition halls, world famous library and research labs. The collection houses more than 32 million specimens that allow just a fraction of the entire collection to be shown at any given time, with a scientific staff of over 200 and sponsors more than 100 special field expeditions every year. It was founded in 1869, and before getting its current complex would be houses in the older Arsenal building in Central Park. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., the father of the 26th President, was one of the original founders, as well as other famous and influential men in the city that included J. Pierpont Morgan, Morris K. Jesup, Moses H. Grinnell, A. G. Phelps Dodge, Joseph H. Choate, Charles A. Dana and Henry G. Stebbins. In 1874, the cornerstone was laid, for the museum's first structure, that has now been hidden from view by the numerous other structures that have been built and occupy the majority of Manhattan Square. That original Victorian gothic style building, that opened in 1877, had been designed by Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould, but soon eclipsed by the structure designed by J. Cleaveland Cady that produced a rusticated brownstone neo-renaissance, that had been influenced by H. H. Richardson. The entrance on Central Park West was designed by John Russell Pope in 1936 and is considered an over scale beaux arts monument that leads to a Roman basilica, where visitors are welcomed by a cast of a skeleton of a rearing Barosaurus that is defending her young from an Allosaurus. Not much has changed since 1930, except for the collections continuing to grow and expand, installing enormous and incredible habitat dioramas of North American, Asian and African mammals, a huge 31 ton piece of the Cape York meteorite, the Star of India which is the biggest star sapphire ever discovered in the world, a full size model of a blue whale that is suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, a 62 foot Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific northwest and the rest of the floor that is dedicated to vertebrate evolution.

April 25, 2011