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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Celebrates 20th Anniversary This October

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Celebrates 20th Anniversary This October


This October marks the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, an institution that continues to resonate with local and global audiences for its daring architecture and transformative effect within and beyond the Basque region in Spain. In the two decades since it opened on October 19, 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has presented more than 160 exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, and welcomed over 20 million visitors from around the world.

“The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao embodies the outward-looking perspective and the intellectual and cultural exchange that distinguish the Guggenheim’s international constellation of museums,” said Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “We in New York and at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice join our colleagues in Bilbao to celebrate this milestone and reaffirm the shared values of excellence, modernity, and artistic innovation that have characterized our museums since their founding.”

Culminating a yearlong program of special events, art-conservation initiatives, exhibitions, and installations, October anniversary-related plans in Bilbao include Chasmata, an immersive performance of instrumental compositions by more than one hundred saxophonists stationed throughout the museum’s soaring atrium; Reflections, a large-scale video projection upon the building’s facade, hosted on the evenings of October 11–14; a gala dinner on October 18; and free admission for all visitors to the museum on October 21 and 22.

To commemorate the anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum in New York will present new video and other digital content, including blog posts exploring the processes and materials that went into making the iconic Frank Gehry–designed titanium-clad building; reexamining “the Bilbao effect,” the much-discussed concept of architecture as a catalyst for urban regeneration; and compiling reflections on the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao contributed by Guggenheim leadership and influential voices in the architecture community. The posts will be available at

Exhibitions on view at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao during the anniversary celebrations include Georg Baselitz: The Heroes, through October 22; Bill Viola: A Retrospective, through November 9; Ken Jacobs: The Guests, through November 12; Anni Albers: Touching Vision, October 6, 2017–January 14, 2018; and Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection, an ongoing presentation.

For more information and details on the anniversary events and exhibitions in Bilbao, visit

For a full press kit, visit

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at

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