Juan Ignacio Vidarte leaves the management of the Guggenheim Bilbao

At the head of the museum since its creation in 1996, Juan Ignacio Vidarte (68 years old) is leaving his post to make way for the new generation.

Degree in Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Deusto (Bilbao) in 1978 and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, Vidarte was first director of the Institute of Territorial Studies of Biscay between 1986 and 1988 then general director of territorial action of the provincial deputation of Biscay for a year, before being appointed general director of fiscal and financial policy of the same organization. His career took a turning point in 1992 when he was appointed director of the Guggenheim Bilbao Project Consortium, responsible for creating the Basque branch in 1992.

Appointed to the management of the new institution, Vidarte quickly managed to make the Guggenheim Bilbao a local and international reference, the museum having been awarded numerous prizes such as the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts (1999), the European Museum of the Year Award 2000, the EFQM Model of Excellence in Management Silver Q (2004), the Tourist Merit Plaque (2005) and the Vasco Universal Award (2007). Juan Ignacio Vidarte also contributed to the artistic direction of the current collection, which has become a reference for contemporary art, composed of works by Richard Serra, Rothko, Jeff Koons and Cy Twombly. For its final consecration, the museum installed in Frank Gehry's immense titanium building recorded its highest number of entries for the year 2023, with more than 1.3 million visitors.

Juan Ignacio Vidarte will work as director emeritus and will also continue consulting work with the Guggenheim Foundation for international initiatives, such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project. His replacement in Bilbao will be named in 2024.

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