It’s #MuseumWeek on Instagram and Twitter, and cultural institutions around the world are using their social media platforms to give design-lovers and museum-goers a special look into their collections and heritage. With daily hashtags that delineate different themes of discourse, museums are engaging with the public in cool new ways.
(It was by way of Monday’s hashtag, #secretsMW, that we learned from the Guggenheim Museum that Frank Lloyd Wright originally intended on calling the space the “Archeseum,” a portmanteau of “Architecture Museum” invented by the architect himself, that cunning linguist!)
We’d be remiss to let this global cultural event go by without pointing out a few of our favorite modern – and postmodern – museum spaces. Museum-making is an art form unto itself, and the design of museums has sparked important conversations about the relationship between the architecture of a museum, the art it houses, and its surrounding community.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is famous for its Fifth Avenue museum, the aforementioned would-be “Archesium” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. But perhaps its most paradigm-shifting contribution was with its Frank Gehry-designed branch in Bilbao, hailed as the most important structure of its time, that thrust its small Basque host city into economic prosperity and international prestige.
Belief in the “Bilbao effect,” whereby the advent of a prize museum in a city leads to economic and cultural revitalization, has inspired many innovative architectural commissions over the years. To what extent attempts to replicate the Bilbao effect have been successful can be debated. What’s doubtless is that Frank Gehry and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao forever changed the dialogue about how we relate to our cultural institutions.
Take a look through the gallery below, which highlights a handful of our favorite modern and post-modern museum spaces. And don’t forget to check out #MuseumWeek!