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About Frank Gehry

The Art Gallery of Ontario is where I first experienced art as a child and it was Grange Park where I played, so this project means a great deal to me. The building we envision will connect the city and its people to great art and art experiences. 

– Frank Gehry, Architect

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry. Photo: Thomas Mayer

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

In subsequent years, Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned four decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. In an article published in the New York Times in November 1989, noted architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote that Gehry's “buildings are powerful essays in primal geometric form and ... materials, and from an aesthetic standpoint they are among the most profound and brilliant works of architecture of our time.”

His work has earned Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field. In 1977, Gehry was named recipient of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1989, he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize – perhaps the premiere accolade of the field – honouring “significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” In 1992, he received the Wolf Prize in Art (Architecture) from the Wolf Foundation. In the same year, he was named the recipient of the Praemium Imperiale Award by the Japan Art Association to “honour outstanding contributions to the development, popularization and progress of the arts.”

In 1994, Gehry became the first recipient of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award for lifetime contribution to the arts. In 1998, he received the National Medal of Arts, and he became the first recipient of the Friedrich Kiesler Prize. In 1999, Gehry received the Lotos Medal of Merit from the Lotos Club, and he received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects. In 2000, he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts.

Frank Gehry as a teenager in Toronto

Frank Gehry as a teenager in Toronto, © Gehry International, Architects, Inc

In 2002, Gehry received the Gold Medal for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gehry was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1987, a trustee of the American Academy in Rome in 1989, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. In 1994, he was bestowed with the title of Academician by the National Academy of Design. In 1998, he was named an Honourary Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts.

In 2003, Gehry was inducted into the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and he was designated as a Companion to the Order of Canada. Gehry has received honorary doctoral degrees from Occidental College, Whittier College, the California College of Arts and Crafts, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, the Rhode Island School of Design, the California Institute of Arts, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the Otis Art Institute at the Parsons School of Design, the University of Toronto, the University of Southern California, Yale University, Harvard University, and the University of Edinburgh. In 1982, 1985, and 1987-89, Gehry held the Charlotte Davenport Professorship in Architectureat Yale University. In 1984, he held the Eliot Noyes Chair at Harvard University. In 1996-97, he was a visiting scholar at the Federal Institute of Technologyin Zürich, Switzerland. Gehry was elected to the College of Fellows ofthe American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) in 1974, and his buildings have received over 100 national and regional A.I.A. awards.

Gehry's work has been featured in major architectural publications and in national and international trade journals. Gehry's architectural drawings and models have been exhibited in major museums throughout the world.

© Gehry International, Architects, Inc.

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