22nd October 2019

Speaker: Siân Walters

The Guggenheim, designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997, is one of the most exciting buildings of the 20th C. The 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 architecture of Frank Gehry using illustrations from his work in Europe and America, and describes, with some beautifully detailed slides, how the vast asymmetrical, apparently chaotic and fragmented structure was created. It also discusses the use of titanium – the unusual and eye-catching material which is used to clad a large surface area of the building. 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. Projects for a new Guggenheim are also discussed.


Siân Walters studied at Cambridge University and is a Lecturer at the National Gallery and The Wallace Collection and taught at Surrey University, specialising in 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish art & architecture, and the relationship between dance and art. She also teaches private courses, and organises lectures, study days and art holidays abroad. She has lived in France and Italy, where she worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.