Many of us have often thought of motorcycles as fine art. And in 1998, the people who run the Guggenheim Museum in New York agreed with that sentiment enough to create an exhibit celebrating the artistry of motorcycles.
The installation was a monumental success and enjoyed record attendance not only in the Big Apple, but also in Chicago and Bilbao, Spain, as it went on the road to other Guggenheim museums. It settled at the Guggenheim Las Vegas on Oct. 7, 2001, and if you're in Sin City before midsummer (maybe during the Laughlin River Run), the Art of the Motorcycle is a nice side-trip into history for any motorcycle enthusiast.
The exhibit is a decade-by-decade telling of motorcycling history, with more than 130 bikes from Europe, Asia, and the United States. The bikes were chosen for their technical, cultural, and aesthetic influences. The installation is enhanced by the museum's creative architecture with its reflective surfaces and large walls displaying reprints of classic motorcycle photographs.
As you walk through the museum, you'll not only see the bikes themselves, but you'll also be treated to the big screens running streaming video of biking films and events from various points in history. Written breakdowns of the events of each decade serve to place the bikes in their historical context.