Friday, November 9, 2012

Guggenheim, Bilbao

jeff koons tulips bilbao guggenheim
jeff koons' tulips at the guggenheim bilbao

guggenheim bilbao rollerblades

guggenheim bilbao maman spider
The Guggenheim's spider (Maman) is a twin to the National Gallery of Canada's spider!
(and can also be found at 9 other locations)
Anish Kapoor's Tall Tree & The Eye

Richard Serra's The Matter of Time at the Guggenheim, Bilbao (it's made of steel!)

via instagram @jessinmalta

live jazz at a cafe outside the guggenheim
Jeff Koons' Puppy at the Guggenheim Bilbao
via instagram @jessinmalta

By the time we arrived in Bilbao we had just a few hours to see the city and the main attraction: The Guggenheim. The Disneyland of all art museums.

These days, Bilbao is synonymous with the Guggenheim. But it wasn't always that way, and it's hard to believe its doors only opened 15 years ago. Built on the site of the city's port, which was once the primary source of Bilbao's income, the Guggenheim has revitalized the city's tourism industry. It draws in millions of tourists and Euros each year and has given Bilbao an irrevocable place on the global art and culture map. 

And it's one of my favourite art museums in the world. 

The museum facade is smaller in person than I thought it would be, but striking. It sprawls out next to the Nervión river and is surrounded by beautiful public parks and boardwalks. Its exhibitions were also smaller than I expected, but that's why I fell head over heels for this beautiful space.

In hindsight, perhaps the exhibitions seemed small because they were competing with (or dwarfed by) the enormity of the building itself, in which you find yourself examining the ceilings and the walls as much as what's hung on them.

While I explored the Guggenheim, Mike rollerbladed down Bilbao's riverside promenade. But I think he would have loved the small taste of modern art that the Guggenheim offers. If you aren't an art history major, chances are you're like Mike - most art museums overwhelm you. Hell, I was an art history major and they still overwhelm me. But the Guggenheim houses the perfect amount of fun, provoking, and high-impact art. You feel like you have time to savour each piece, rather than rushing to see everything in the building. It's absolutely refreshing.

And isn't that puppy great?

- Jess

guggenheim entrance: €8 per person


  1. Ha I was wondering why Mike was wearing rollerblades and you weren't! Now it makes sense. Though I've never been in person, seeing the Guggenheim always amazes me :)

  2. I love my city!

    I hope you have fun there!

  3. So so cool! I've been dying to visit the Guggenheim for forever! Glad you were able to visit, the art history major in you must have been in absolute heaven :)


  4. OMG. Amazing. I love the puppy. Mom :-)

  5. I absolutely love your top! Where is it from, if you don't mind me asking!?


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