6. Wright Intended for Guests to View Exhibits from the Top to the Bottom

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo: David M. Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Attention, everyone! Wright, in addition to doing away with crowded rooms and interlocking corridors that all but defined all other museums of the day, hoped to create a fluid experience of the art in the museum. He envisioned a glass elevator that would take patrons all the way up to the top, after which they would view exhibits from the top down before finally reaching the last pieces in the atrium. In some way, we suppose it makes some sense. Wright’s elevator would stop us from viewing the pieces backwards when eventually descending the spiral, which in some cases can change the intent of the pieces based on order. But honestly, would anyone really be up in arms about it?