The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, the precursor to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, opened its inaugural exhibition Art of Tomorrow on June 1, 1939, at its location on East 54th Street. The published exhibition catalogue has been digitized and is available on the Internet Archive. The Guggenheim is also fortunate to have the museum director Hilla Rebay’s working copy in the Michele Smolen collection of Hilla Rebay materials. The fragile pages of the working copy are filled with handwritten notations and photocopies of artwork plates pinned onto paper.
Hilla Rebay moved to Westport, Connecticut, in 1938. Although her neighbor Michele Smolen did not know Rebay personally, she was aware that Rebay was a well-known patron of the arts. Smolen collected newspaper clippings, exhibition materials, and other ephemera about her famous and eccentric neighbor. Smolen donated her collection to the Guggenheim Archives in 2005.