Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

 

in short

Today, the outstanding Bilbao Fine Arts Museum collection has more than seven thousand works, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and the applied arts ranging in time from the 12th century to the present day. Besides many major early and Old Master works, it also has a broad sampling of modern and contemporary art, placing particular emphasis on paintings from the Spanish and Flemish schools, together with a major collection of works by Basque artists.
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
© Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
Logo: Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

in detail

Must-see exhibits in the Museum galleries include remarkable works by Bermejo, Benson, Mandijn, Vredeman de Vries, De Vos, Mor, Sánchez Coello, El Greco, Pourbus, Gentileschi, Ribera, Zurbarán, Van Dyck, Murillo, Arellano, Meléndez, Bellotto, Goya, Paret, Villaamil, Ribot, Zamacois, Madrazo, Gauguin, Cassatt, Sorolla, Guiard, Ensor, Regoyos, Romero de Torres, Zuloaga, Sunyer, Arteta, Gutiérrez Solana, Vázquez Díaz, Lipchitz, Delaunay, González, Gargallo, Bacon, Palazuelo, Oteiza, Chillida, Caro, Millares, Tàpies, Saura, Lüpertz, Kitaj, Blake, Arroyo and Barceló.

Some of the guiding principles of the new collection were clear from its inception. Even today the close links with public institutions and society remain as evidence of the original, and continuing, desire to turn Bilbao into a cultural benchmark. A series of major gifts and legacies from institutions and private individuals alike made in the early years of the Museum's activity marked the future growth of the collection. Another defining feature of the Museum is the desire to be fully contemporary, a desire which, in the early years, coincided with the concerns of the local artistic community.
Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
The origins of the present day Museum lie in the original Fine Arts Museum founded in 1908 and opened to the public in 1914, and in the Museum of Modern Art inaugurated in 1924. Both Museums were definitively merged, with their respective collections, in 1945, when what is now the old building was constructed. The modern building was added in 1970 and in 2001 a major refit gave the Museum its present profile. Over the last one hundred years, the Museum has been moulded by local people, artists and authorities, with major acquisitions and donations of artworks adding gradually to the collection and providing the core for the Museum's steady, uninterrupted growth.

The building was declared a Historical and Artistic Monument in 1962. However, the Museum soon outgrew its original home and, in the early 1960s, architects Álvaro Líbano and Ricardo Beascoa were commissioned to draw up plans for an extension. Líbano and Beascoa came up with an innovative design influenced by the Modern Movement and, specifically, by the work of Mies van der Rohe. Although construction was completed in 1970, ten years later, with Jorge de Barandiarán as director, new areas and services were installed in the basement of the building. In 1991, the Basque Government joined the Bilbao City Council and the Bizkaia Provincial Council as a Board member of the Museum.
Admission
5,50 / 4,00 EUR. Audioguide +1,50 EUR. Bono Artean (Museum and Guggenheim): 13 EUR. Free admission: ICOM, Wednesdays, Museum's Friend, Children under 12, accredited teachers, journalists, tour guides, disabled and unemployed.
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Visitor entrance

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
Museo Plaza, 2
48009 Bilbao
Spain
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Opening Times

Sun
10:00 - 20:00
Mon
-
Tue
10:00 - 20:00
Wed
10:00 - 20:00
Thu
10:00 - 20:00
Fri
10:00 - 20:00
Sat
10:00 - 20:00
Closed on 25 December, 1 and 6 January.
24 and 31 December open from 10 am to 2 pm.

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