Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - The Traveller


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum – Well Known Museum of Contemporary/Modern Art

The Solomon R, Guggenheim Museum is also known as Guggenheim Museum Bilbao which is a well-known museum of contemporary and modern art, designed by Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect located in Bilbao, Basque Country, in Spain.

The museum was established in 1939 by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting under the guidance of its artist and first director, Hilla von Rebay and was inaugurated by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, on October 18, 1997. It adopted its present name in 1952, after the death of its founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim. It was built alongside the Nervion River that runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea and is one of the many museums which belong to the Solomon R, Guggenheim Foundation.

 Moreover it features some of the permanent as well as visiting exhibits of the works done by international as well as Spanish artists and is a home of renowned and ever flowing collection of Impressionist, early Modern and Post-Impressionist besides contemporary art, with special exhibitions carried out throughout the year.

Represents Architectural Landmark of Bold Configuration

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao represents an awesome example of the most mind blowing construction of the 20th century architecture. With 24,000 m2 out of which 11,000 is dedicated to exhibition space, it has more space for exhibition than the three Guggenheim collections in New York and Venice combined.

The exhibition space of 11,000 has been distributed over nineteen galleries, 10 of which follow a classic orthogonal plan which can be identified from the external by their stone finish while the remaining nine galleries are shaped irregular and can be noticed from the outside by their swirling organic forms together with titanium covering and the biggest gallery measures 30 meters wide and 130 meters long.In 2005, it housed Richard Serra’s monumental installation, The Matter of Time, dubbed as `courageous and sublime’, by Robert Hughes.

The museum represent architectural landmark of bold configuration together with innovating design providing an appealing backdrop for the exhibition of art. Gehry’s design has created an amazing sculpture like structure integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern as well as its surrounding area. The museum is integrated seamlessly in the urban context giving way to interconnecting shapes of stone, titanium and glass on a 32,000 square meter site along the Nervion River in the heart of the old industrial city. Though modest from street level, it is very impressive when seen from the river.

Constructed on Time & Budget

Over eight decades, the collection of the museum has grown organically and is founded on many important private collections starting with the original collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim and the collections is shared by its sister museum in Spain, Bilbao and others. Around 1.2 million people visited the museum in 2013 and it also hosted the most popular exhibition in the city of New York.

 The building, it is said, has been constructed on time and budget and in an interview, Gehry explains that first, he made sure that what he called `the organisation of the artist’ prevailed at the time of construction in order to prevent interferences of political as well as business interest, with the design. Then he ensured that he had detailed and realistic cost estimate before going ahead with his project and finally he used computer visualization which he created by his own Digital Project software, collaborating closely with individual building trades in order to keep a tab on costs at the time of construction.

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