You are here


-A A +A
2004–2014, Frank Gehry. 386 Beach Blvd.

Los Angeles-based Gehry was selected by the museum board to design this ensemble set among mature live oaks in the hope that his flamboyant work would draw tourists as it had to his Guggenheim Museum of 1997 in Bilbao, Spain. It combines the names of Annette O’Keefe, diligent fundraiser for the institution, and George Ohr (1857–1915), who proclaimed himself the “mad potter of Biloxi.” Ohr apprenticed with New Orleans potter Joseph Meyer before establishing a studio (not extant) in his hometown. His eccentric persona extended to his work, and he became known for the strange and expressionist shapes of his pots and his colorful glazes.

Gehry designed five buildings for the museum. Farthest east is the Mississippi Sound Welcome Center, with a rooftop overlook; the adjacent IP Casino Resort and Spa Exhibition Gallery; the nearby Gallery of African American Art; the City of Biloxi Center for Ceramics farther west; and the centrally located cluster of four “pods,” which form the John S. and James L. Knight Gallery and house George Ohr pottery exhibitions. Gehry’s abstract structures of brick, stucco, and stainless steel were intended, he said, to “dance” with the surrounding live oaks. Also here is a late-nineteenth-century cottage rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina as the Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center, housing exhibitions on local African American history.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller


What's Nearby


Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller, "OHR-O’KEEFE MUSEUM", [Biloxi, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Mississippi, Jennifer V. O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio. With Mary Warren Miller. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021, 350-350.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.