Left Canada: Moved with his family to southern California in 1947.
Family Life: From 1952 to 1966, married to Anita Snyder, with whom he has two daughters. Frank Goldberg's name change to Frank Gehry is generally attributed to his first wife's encouragement. Gehry divorced Snyder and married Berta Isabel Aguilera in 1975. They have two sons.
- Los Angeles City College
- University of Southern California. Architecture degree completed in 1954
- Harvard Graduate School of Design. Studied city planning for one year.
Career of Frank Gehry:
Buildings: Early in his career, Frank Gehry designed houses inspired by modern architects such as Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. As Gehry's career expanded, he became known for massive, iconoclastic projects that attracted attention and controversy. Many buildings by Frank Gehry have become tourist attractions, drawing visitors from around the world.
Furniture: Gehry had success in the 1970s with his line of Easy Edges chairs made from bent laminated cardboard. By 1991, Gehry was using bent laminated maple to produce the Power Play Armchair. These designs are part of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) collection in NYC.
Memorials: The Eisenhower Memorial Commission chose Frank Gehry's design for the Washington, D.C. memorial honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower's command of the Allied Forces in Europe in World War II and as the 34th President of the United States.
Gehry Designs: Because architecture takes so long to become realized, Gehry often turns to the "quick fix" of designing smaller products, including jewelry, trophies, and even liquor bottles. In 2003 Gehry established a partnership with Tiffany & Co. to create an exclusive jewelry collection that launched in 2006. In 2004 the Canadian side of Gehry designed an ice hockey trophy for the international World Cup of Hockey tournament. Also in 2004, the Polish side of Gehry designed a twisty vodka bottle for Wyborowa Exquisite, also of Polish descent (see PDF product marketing).
Famous Buildings by Frank Gehry:
- 1978 and 1987: Gehry House (Gehry's private home), Santa Monica CA
- 1993: Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
- 1997: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
- 1999: Maggies Centre, Dundee, Scotland
- 2001: Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
- 2004: MIT Stata Complex, Cambridge MA
- 1989-2004: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles CA
- 2004: Jay Pritzker Music Pavillion, Chicago, Illinois
- 2005: 'MARTa' Museum, Herford, Germany
- 2007: IAC Building, New York City
- 2010: Dr Chau Chak Wing Building Design, the "Treehouse,", University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
- 1977: Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 1989: Pritzker Architecture Prize
- 1992: Wolf Prize in Art, the Wolf Foundation
- 1992: Praemium Imperiale Award, Japan Art Association
- 1994: Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award for lifetime contribution to the arts
- 1998: National Medal of Arts
- 1998: Friedrich Kiesler Prize
- 1999: Lotos Medal of Merit, Lotos Club
- 1999: Gold Medal, American Institute of Architects
- 2000: Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts
- More than 100 awards from the American Institute of Architects
- Numerous honorary doctorates and honorary titles
"The hallmark of deconstructivist architecture is its apparent instability. Though structurally sound, the projects seem to be in states of explosion or collapse....Deconstructivist architecture, however, is not an architecture of decay or demolition. On the contrary, it gains all of its force by challenging the very values of harmony, untiy, and stability, proposing instead that flaws are intrinsic to the structure."
Source: MoMA Press Release, June 1988, pages 1 and 3. PDF accessed online February 20, 2012
Contact Frank Gehry:
"I approach each building as a sculptural object, a spatial container, a space with light and air, a response to context and appropriateness of feeling and spirit. To this container, this sculpture, the user brings his baggage, his program, and interacts with it to accommodate his needs. If he can't do that, I've failed."—from the 1980 edition of "Contemporary Architects"
Visit the Web site for Gehry Parters for information about Frank Gehry, a listing of job openings at the firm, and contact information.
Explore Frank Gehry's Life and Works:
For more insights, see Conversations With Frank Gehry by journalist Barbara Isenberg. The book includes interiews with Gehry and a fascinating collection of sketches, renderings, and photographs of his works.
An interesting profile of Frank Gehry may also be seen in the documentary film Sketches of Frank Gehry. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sydney Pollack, the film begins with Gehry's original project sketches. Through relaxed, intimate conversations with Frank Gehry, Pollack explores the process of turning those sketches into tangible, three-dimensional models (often made simply of cardboard and scotch tape) and, ultimately, into finished buildings.
TED Talks (video discussions) include: