A museum’s goal is primarily to collect and preserve art objects in order to make them accessible to visitors through exhibitions and programs. New York City has several museums such as the Frick Museum and the Guggenheim Museum, which even though different in design share the common goal of being a sort of cultural institution for the people.
Henry Clay Frick was one of the most powerful industrialists of the nineteenth century, leaving him with a vast amount of money to spend. He had already begun collecting art work prior to moving into New York City. When he acquired the land which today contains the Frick Museum, he paid for his home to be designed in a way that would accommodate his collection of art. In his will he dictated that his residence be turned into a gallery called The Frick Collection, showcasing all his collection of art. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in the late nineteenth century in a form that people considered/described as an inverted ziggurat. It looks like a cylindrical building and it gets wider as you move up a level. This museum houses several collections of artwork ranging from impressionist, post-impressionist, early modern and contemporary art.
Within each museum, the spaces vary. This affects the way in which one circulates throughout the gallery spaces of each museum. Inside the Guggenheim, a grand ramp extends from the ground level all the way to the final top level where a skylight offers natural light to enter. This arrangement was intentionally designed so as to lead visitors to take the elevator to the top floor and then slowly work their way down along the curving pathway (the ramp). Unlike in the Guggenheim, the Frick Museum contains no forcing pathway to guide its visitors from one showroom to the next. Several rooms are interconnected, most likely due to the fact it was previously a house, which makes it difficult to really circulate throughout the museum in an “organized manner” without forgetting to enter one showroom. As I see it, the Guggenheim Museum offered (and still does) a unique experiencing of not only the spaces but the art work as well, while circulating throughout the museum. However, based on my preference, the sequencing of spaces within the Frick seems a better fit for displaying artwork simply because the museum contains corridors between showrooms where one is given this brief pause before admiring other artwork. In the Guggenheim Museum this transition space is slightly lost because the partition walls created don’t create rooms, they merely separate the work for a brief moment.