Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice

Not so well known as her uncle Solomon, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) was one of the leading art collectors of the 20th century. Rebellious and passionate, the American benefactress was always on the move between New York and Paris, but it was in Venice that she decided to set up home, in the 18th-century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. In the 1950s, she turned the princely residence overlooking the Grand Canal into Italy’s most important museum of European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. Its rooms contain masterpieces by Picasso, Giacometti, Pollock, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Klee, Rothko and Max Ernst, her second husband.

The Venetian capital is now remembering its illustrious honorary fellow citizen in 50 or so black-and-white photographs. Peggy, and her turbulent and much talked about life, is the subject of an exhibition organised by the Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia, which recently acquired the CameraphotoEpoche di Bianconero archives, comprising more than 300 negatives, and donated them to the Guggenheim Collection.

The route displays lesser-known pictures, some being seen for the first time, e.g. the only existing photographs of the collector wearing earrings designed by Alexander Calder and Yves Tanguy and worn in 1942 at the inauguration of her New York gallery, designed by Frederick Kiesler. As every year, a concert will be held in the garden of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on 26 August to commemorate her birthday. E.S.

25.8.2005 – 23.9.2005
Peggy Guggenheim
Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia
Campo San Luca, Venezia
T +39-041-5292234

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