|Solomon R. Guggenheim|
Of course the name Guggenheim had been practically synonymous with the modern art scene in New York for most of the twentieth century, not just in the personage of Solomon Guggenheim but also his niece, Peggy. Shortly after WW I, Solomon Guggenheim was one of seven heirs to a diverse family fortune which included mines, banking, shipping, and foundries. With the help and advice of painter Hilla Rebay, his curator, he began putting together a collection of non-objective art at a time when a Picasso might be purchased from between $10. and $100. By the time the museum took shape under the guidance of the octogenarian Frank Lloyd Wright, a similar work was selling for half a million. Under Rebay's direction, the collection was first displayed at a converted auto dealership on East 54th Street in New York. Later the Museum of Non-Objective Art moved to a townhouse bordering Central Park, which was torn down to allow construction of the present museum.