Today in History: The Guggenheim opens in NYC

'This Day in History': 10/21/1959 - The Guggenheim Opens
'This Day in History': 10/21/1959 - The Guggenheim Opens

56 years ago today on Oct. 21, 1959, the Guggenheim Museum sparked the curiosity of millions when its abstract design popped up on New York City's elite Fifth Avenue.

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Home to some of the most famous and awe-inspiring art pieces in the world, the Guggenheim sees nearly 2 million visitors each year.

Crowd fills the corner of 89th St. and Fifth Ave. at the ope
Crowd fills the corner of 89th St. and Fifth Ave. at the ope

Known to most simply as "The Guggenheim," the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has a fascinating history that lies within the iconic abstract exterior.

The museum's founder, Solomon Guggenheim was a wealthy mining tycoon, who started displaying his art collection in an old Manhattan car showroom in the late 1930s.

After his collection outgrew the space, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright began to design the museum truly unlike any other.

%shareLinks-quote="Entering into the spirit of this interior, you will discover the best possible atmosphere in which to show fine paintings or listen to music. It is this atmosphere that seems to me most lacking in our art galleries, museums, music halls and theaters." type="quote" author="Frank Lloyd Wright" authordesc="Architectural Forum, 1948" isquoteoftheday="false"%

Sadly, neither Guggenheim nor Wright lived to see the museum's opening; but their legacy continues to live on today as the museum is adored by millions.

Never been to the Guggenheim? Take a look through some of our favorite photos of the museum, courtesy of Instagrammers across the world:

See more unbelievable photos of the Guggenheim here:

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Originally published