Steve Wynn, the famous hotelier who purchased property from the Howard Hughes estate, opened the Mirage in 1984, the first of many megaresorts to grace (or invade) Las Vegas.
Next came Bellagio, the world's most expensive hotel, built by Wynn in 1998 for $1.6 billion. As part of the Bellagio resort, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is Las Vegas' premier art gallery, offering world class exhibitions from international museums and private collections. Now on exhibit is "Picasso's Ceramics," treasures from the estate of Pablo Picasso.
The architecture of a museum or art gallery is of great importance today. I suppose it is because a building or structure can withstand the tests of time and becomes an integral part of a community. (The pyramids of Egypt would be a good example.)
Familiar to most people is the Guggenheim Museum in New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959 and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, designed by Frank O. Gehry in 1997. The architect who designed the museum gallery of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas is however, not yet a household name.
Rem Koolhaas uniquely designed space within the Venetian Resort Hotel-Casino
to house the satellite museum collections. He used Cor-Ten steel for the walls, a metal never before used for museum exhibitions. As the Guggenheim is an east coast museum and Mr. Koolhaas currently teaches at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, I think we have a perfect example of how "east meets west" and a relationship developed where ideas are shared.
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg began in 1764 with Catherine the Great of Russia's collection of 225 western European paintings. The museum then became public in 1917 consisting of five buildings and housing over three million items.
Works currently on view at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas are modern masters from the New York based museum which include Amedeo Modigliani's "Portrait of a Student," Pierre Bonnard's colorful "Dining Room on the Garden," and Paul Cezanne's "Man With Crossed Arms."
A fine example of Picasso's ceramics is seen in this art print. It is available here from Allposters.com.
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