The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao building, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, is a remarkable example of revolutionary 20th-century architecture. The museum was conceived by Peggy and Peter Guggenheim to house their extensive collection of modern art.
Frank William Gehry (born August 7, 1923) is an American architect who has been called "the father of postmodern architecture". He has been praised for his use of organic shapes and intuitive designs that are often minimalist in nature.
Gehry began his career at the age of 23 when he won a contest held by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He went on to establish himself as one of the leading architects of his time through projects such as Disney's California Adventure Park, the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), and the Fourth Street Bridge/Park Avenue New York City subway station.
As well as being a renowned artist himself, Gehry has worked with many artists over the years, including Donald Judd, Richard Serra, and James Turrell. These collaborations have resulted in some of the most innovative buildings of our time, such as Gehry's own Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, constructed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. It opened to the public on 7 July 1997.
The museum is located on Euskadi (Basque Country), across the river from Gobierno Civil station, next to the Guggenheim Ubu Reina project by Antxon Matute.
It is the first fully funded private institution to be built since the end of World War II. The museum cost $55 million to construct and has been described as "a boat turned on its side with a bent nose" or "a big brown box with white strips".
Inside are galleries for modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on new media and experimental practices. There is also a library, a research center, and an auditorium that can accommodate up to 1,000 people.
The museum is owned by an international foundation that does not benefit from public funds and whose main purpose is to promote artistic creation and exchange. Its director is Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is also special advisor to the mayor of Bilbao.
The museum won the International Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution.
Bilbao was transformed into a cultural city when the Guggenheim Museum opened its doors 20 years ago. The Frank Gehry-designed structure is now a municipal landmark. In recent years, the term "Guggenheim impact" has gained use. It refers to the influence that the museum has had on the development of contemporary art worldwide.
The story of how the Guggenheim came to Bilbao begins in 1925, when New York City collector Solomon R. Guggenheim decided to build a museum of world art on land he had bought in Spain. The museum was to be an extension of the private collection he had built up over the previous decades. It was to be located in Barcelona but the Spanish Civil War broke out that year, and all construction was stopped. The museum was never built.
In 1977, the Guggenheim Foundation was founded in New York City by Peggy and Peter Guggenheim's children to manage their parents' artistic legacy. The foundation commissioned American architect Frank O. Gehry to design a new museum for its site in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on January 15, 1991, and the museum opened its doors to the public on July 7, 1997.
The Guggenheim Foundation chose Bilbao as the site for the second Guggenheim Museum because of its strong tradition as a center for art and industry.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City was created by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The skyscraper violated centuries-old architectural standards, prompting contemporary artists to join a petition against it. It was opened on July 10, 1959.
Wright planned for his museum to be a series of interrelated buildings would "symbolize the integration of art and nature." He also intended for them to be a reflection of their viewers' inner selves. The main building is made of aluminum, glass, and stone with some concrete used as well. The exterior is an abstract design while the interior contains many galleries connected by bridges over light wells filled with natural light.
He wanted the public to feel as if they were standing inside a tree or overlooking a river. During construction, controversy arose over Wright's use of novel materials and techniques. The director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University argued that the building was too innovative for its time and should be preserved instead as an example of modern architecture. However, others praised it as one of the first true world-class museums.
Wright died just months after opening day despite having planned for his wife to continue running the business. She did not want this responsibility and soon sold her share of the company to their chief financial officer.
The Guggenheim Museum The Guggenheim Museum is a landmark that has inspired numerous tourists and is largely regarded as Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece. He designed the building between 1949 and 1959.
Wright first came to international attention in 1939 when he won the Tribune Tower competition, which led to his being hired by Chicago newspaper publisher Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr. to design a home for his family. After moving to New York City, Wright continued to have considerable influence over interior design. He also received many other commissions throughout the United States and Europe.
Wright died in Oak Park, Illinois on September 13, 1959 at the age of 78. He is interred there at the Oak Park and River Forest Cemetery. The Guggenheim holds annual exhibitions dedicated to Wright's work; these include "Frank Lloyd Wright: A Retrospective" (2009) and "Frank Lloyd Wright: An American Genius" (2010).
In addition to being an architect, Wright was also interested in music. He composed several pieces, including two symphonies and three choral works. One of his cantatas, "The Resurrection", was chosen by President John F. Kennedy as one of his favorite poems set to music during a ceremony at the White House in 1963.