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New York, New York
September 23, 2007
From journal Bilbao
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
September 3, 2006
But since the opening of a new Guggenheim Museum by the river, the city has reborn from its ashes, has brightened up and now is a major touristic destination... they call it "Guggy Effect"!!
From journal Bilbao Journal
by Owen Lipsett
June 11, 2005
Had the Guggenheim never been built, Gehry would still be regarded as one of the world’s greatest architects for his innovative style, which involves using aircraft design software to create the distinctively undulating shapes that give his buildings their unusual feel. This technique was perfectly suited to conceiving a building that urban planners hoped to make both a landmark in itself and also an integrated part of Bilbao’s waterfront. Inspired by his experience playing with the live carp his grandmother brought home every weekend to turn into gefilte fish for the family’s Sabbath meal during his childhood in Toronto, Gehry designed a shiny building that seemed to rise from the river.
The museum’s bright interior, which Gehry intended to resemble a beating heart to circulate visitors to adjoining galleries (as opposed to more traditionally linear museums), is no less impressive. The hefty €10 admission fee includes an audioguide which contains information about Gehry and the permanent collection, as well as whatever temporary exhibition is being displayed. There are also daily English-language tours (usually at 3pm) of the building and both temporary and permanent exhibitions. The museum’s "permanent" collection of modern art actually rotates, as it's shared with the other Guggenheim Museums worldwide, however there are a few truly permanent site specific pieces. The most beloved of these is Jeff Koons’ "Puppy," a flower covered statue of a gigantic dog which guards the entrance. Originally intended as a temporary exhibition to commemorate the museum’s opening, it remained in place by popular demand and blooms in different colors every spring. I personally found Richard Serra’s "Snake," located in the aptly named "Fish Gallery" (the museum’s largest), and consisting of 3 gigantic ribbons of hot rolled steel, rather more interesting.
Considering its literal, figurative, and visual importance to the city of Bilbao, the museum is worth seeing more than once. I don’t just recommend exploring the building multiple times, which a ticket enables you to do, since it allows you to enter and exit freely on the day of your visit. It's also well worth approaching it from different angles in order to appreciate the way it fits with the city and the riverbank as a whole.
Further information: http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es/ingles/home.htm
From journal Bilbao: The Epitome of Urban Renewal
July 7, 2004
Inside there are three floors of modern art in some very unique rooms. The first level contains the permanent collection, and includes some Andy Warhol. The other two levels are dedicated to touring collections. As for the audio, it is worth persevering with, especially as the touring exhibits have a slightly less annoying commentary.
From journal Weekend in Bilbo
October 26, 2002
From journal Bilbao - Not Just the Guggenheim
October 14, 2002
Actually, I´m more fond of the Metro designed by Foster, mostly because I get to use it everyday, and it hasn´t stopped to amaze me.
But the Guggenheim has an impressive architectural presence. Its titanium cover changes colors depending on the time of the day and the weather. I prefer it when the sky is gray and it has just stopped to rain. The water drops run slowly, and the light changes slowly.
From journal Bilbao, seen from an insider
July 11, 2002
The foyer and main hall are huge with large windows overlooking the river.
It is home to the worlds largest single gallery, which was totally amazing. The building has square galleries and rounded galleries.
To be honest, I was not entirely sure what was permanent collection and what was not! But, almost everything was eye catching and would take an afternoon (or more) to enjoy.
There are tours that give a great overview.
There are also childrens workshops and exhibits, but check before you go!!
From journal Weekend in Bilbao with the Guggenheim
March 8, 2002
Visiting the Guggenheim is an exciting experience, inside and out. To enhance your experience, sign up for one of the free guided tours starting in the lobby. There is at least one tour in English per day. My tour guide, who looked like a Basque Sinead O'Connor, spoke English fluently and informatively. It was about an hour long, and our small group consisted of myself and four Germanic-speaking travellers.
The museum is closed on Mondays, so plan your visit accordingly (this may be different during the peak summer months). There is a nice multi-level shop where you can check out a variety of books and fun museum-type souvenirs. The restaurant and cafe have earned a good reputation in the city, but I did not dine at either.
The special exhibition when I visited on a rainy day was a retrospective on the work of...Frank Gehry! I had already seen this exhibit at the Guggenheim in New York, but I wanted to revisit it within the spatial context of Gehry's greatest cration. This building is worthy of sporting the Guggenheim Museum franchise begun by Frank Lloyd Wright's superlative spiral in New York City.
From journal Bill in Spain - BILBAO