An Anniversary Lecture: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao & The Architecture of Frank Gehry

Monday 28th November 6.00PM GMT


This autumn marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, described by the acclaimed late architect Philip Johnson as “the greatest building of our time”.  Join Art History in Focus director Siân Walters for an introductory lecture.


Bilbao is now the Basque Country’s most important city thanks in no small part to the impact of the Guggenheim Museum, completed in 1997 to huge critical and popular acclaim.  This extraordinary edifice, the first to use Frank Gehry’s trademark titanium panels, combines modernity and beauty with practicality and function, and also a great sense of fun which makes it a joy to explore. Our lecture begins with an introduction to the Guggenheim Foundation and how it came about, and then moves on to describe the very particular circumstances that led to the commission in Bilbao. It examines the career of Frank Gehry using illustrations from his work in Europe and America, and describes how exactly the vast asymmetrical, titanium-clad structure in Bilbao was created using the latest technology, initially developed in the aerospace and shipbuilding industries. The lecture ends with an introduction to the collection of paintings, sculptures and installations contained within the museum, covering the permanent collection as well as providing up-to-date information on current and future exhibitions. Gehry’s recent projects such as his involvement with the Battersea Power Station development are also discussed.


This is a live-streamed lecture at 6.00pm (UK time).  It will last approximately one hour including Q&A. Tune in live from anywhere in the world, or if you cannot participate live, you will automatically be sent a recording soon after the end of the session enabling you to watch later that day or during the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Booking closes the day before the event is streamed. Please refer to the Further Information panel below.

Further Information

1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book Now” button, fill in the online booking form and pay online. You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked – please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. Zoom works best when using Google Chrome.


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link both on your screen and by email, please keep this safe.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items’ and ‘junk mail’ folders or click here for advice.


Join the event a few minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You do not need to advise us if you can’t participate live, don’t worry! You will be contacted soon after the event has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recording. This will be available to watch on catch up later that day and for the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each event that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don’t worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you a recording.

Bookings close the day before the event is streamed.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, photograph by Ardfren