First of Frank Gehry’s “Pods” to Open at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art

Frank Gehry's pods Photo: A Zahner

On July 12, Biloxi’s Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art will celebrate the opening of the first of Frank Gehry’s “Pod” buildings to reach completion. The center, dedicated to George E. Ohr and designed by Frank Gehry Partners, faced significant damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Though the damage to the pods was reduced thanks to the surrounding oak trees that helped protect them, they were moved to a separate campus as reconstruction efforts took place. Finally, the museum is nearing completion.

The pods will house a large permanent collection of pottery by Ohr, nicknamed the “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” who lived from 1857–1918. Though initially conceptualized by Gehry as one large  building, the design was later broken into several smaller ones, which Gehry envisioned “dancing with the trees”. He said of the project, “The trees are architecture, they are as interesting as any building. It’s like if you go to a dance and your dance partner is the tree. She’s a pretty partner, so we’ll try and waltz her around a bit.”

The opening celebrations will include several pieces of never-before-seen Ohr pottery on display, as well as talks, a Q&A, and various other special events.

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