June 14, 2007

The Most Beautiful Museum

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:22 am by classicalmusic

The Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao – Museo Guggenheim – is the most beautiful
museum in the world, in my opinion.

Frank Gehry’s Masterpiece

The Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, designed by the renowned Frank Gehry,
is probably the most beautiful and the greatest building of the 20th century. 
While visiting Barcelona, I made a special trip to Bilbao (a one-hour flight)
just to see this museum.  It is awe-inspiring, enveloping the observer and
drawing him in like a magnet.

If approached from the center of town, the towering shimmering sail-like
walls astound you.  If reached by the soaring, graceful white bridge, built by
Santiago Calatrava, the museum rises from the banks of the Rio de Bilbao like a
ship in full sail.  The architectural composition of golden limestone and
titanium beckons the visitor to view it from all angles.  With every change of
light, the building changes color – golden in the sun, silver under clouds.  One
never seems to tire of looking at it.

Museum Exhibits

It is absolutely not essential to visit all the galleries for the actual art
exhibits.  Whatever is on display is simply unimportant.  The day I was there,
one large gallery – the whole second floor – was devoted to a retrospective of
Versace collections.  Not exactly what one would especially travel to Bilbao to
see!

What was important was the building itself.  It is a work of art in its own
right.  The galleries fan out from a souring central atrium made of glass, white
walls and steel ribs.  Some of them are huge rooms made especially to house
large contemporary art works such as Richard Sierra’s “Snake”, which was showing
when I was there.

I was in Bilbao for only two days, and I visited other sites in this
interesting Basque city.  But I kept going back again and again to view the
Bilbao Guggenheim, the most beautiful museum in the world.

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