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The Peggy Guggenheim Museum - Venice

Peggy Guggenheim was born in 1898 in New York. Her father, Benjamin Guggenheim, and uncle, Solomon R. Guggenheim were power brokers. The family’s fortune came from mining and smelting industries.

 
 

Peggy and her sister grew with a silver spoon and never felt the lack of money. However, they were often left alone due to absent parents. To make things worse, Benjamin Guggenheim died on the Titanic when it sank in 1912. Peggy grew up relatively poorer than her Guggenheim cousins.


She received her inheritance at the age of 21 and became financially independent. She briefly worked for an avant garde bookstore in midtown manhattan where she learnt about literature and art. In 1920, she moved to Paris where she explored Classical and Renaissance art. She made friends with many writers and artists including Marcel Duchamp. It was through Duchamp that she met so many other artists and collectors in Paris. She met another artist Laurence Vail and married him soon after in 1922. They had two children and divorced in 1928. Her relationships after him were difficult as they were mostly filled with infidelity. She was known to have had many partners including the artists she supported.

 


In 1937, her mother died and she received an inheritance from her. She decided that she would start an art gallery in London with some help from Duchamp. The gallery held Wassily Kandinsky’s first solo exhibition as well as works by Yves Tanguy, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Jean Arp, Pablo Picassi, Constantin Brancusi and Georges Braque. Guggenheim soon started to build her own personal collection as well.


Although the gallery became well known, it did not make as much money as it needed to. She felt the need to have a more practical business and so Guggenheim decided that she would start a modern art museum and planned to open one in London. In 1939, her uncle Solomon Guggenheim opened the Museum of Non-objective Painting in New York and displayed abstract art. The building in New York was designed by Frank LLoyd Wright.


With the help of Herbert Read, Guggenheim made a list of works she needed for her new museum.She travelled to Paris with a list of abstract and surrealist works that she wanted to buy for the museum when World War II broke out. Unfortunately, she had put her museum plans on hold at that time. However, she was still optimistic and bought many works from artists and art dealers who were eager to sell what they had and escape the Nazis. She was able to use the money intended for the museum to buy works by Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Miro, Man Ray, Ernst and Magritte among others. When Paris was invaded in 1940, she packed up all her things including the artworks and sent it to New York by ship. (Ref: TheArtStory - Peggy Guggenheim - Biography and Legacy)

Guggenhiem married Max Ernst and moved to the United States with him. When she moved back to New York, the art scene was still a small community. She opened a gallery in 1942 that consisted of a mix of European and American art. During that time, there were a large number of european artists who immigrated to the United States as a result of World War II. Guggenheim became an early patron of Jackson Pollock who became very well known later. She provided him with a monthly stipend, a commission and arranged his first exhibition. Her gallery was the foundation of the american art movement in the 1940s and gave many artists showings.


In 1947, Guggenheim closed her gallery in New York and moved to Venice. In 1948, she exhibited her work at the Venice Biennale at the Greek Pavilion. It marked the first time that works by Pollock, Gorky, Rothko and other american artists were shown in Europe. The presence of Cubist, abstract, and Surrealist art introduced modern art that was yet to be seen in Italy at the time.


Her home in Venice was frequently visited by writers and artists. In 1970, she donated her home Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice to Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. In 1976, she also donated all her artworks under the provision that it would stay in Venice.

 

The museum presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection, masterpieces from the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof collection, a sculpture garden as well as temporary exhibitions. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, whose constellation includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. 


Today, Peggy Guggenheim’s collection features over 300 works by almost 100 modern artists. The Guggenheim collection consists mostly of art from America and Europe between 1938 and 1946. Her museum in Venice is arguably the most visited museum of modern art in the world; it has played an integral role in making Venice a popular city for contemporary art.



Max Ernst (1891 - 1976)

YOUNG WOMEN IN THE FORM OF A FLOWER

1944 / (Cast 1957)

Bronze

  

Alberto Giacometti (1901 - 1966)

WOMEN WALKING

1936

Plaster

 
 

Willem de Kooning  (1904 - 1997)

UNTITLED

1958

Oil on paper

 
 

Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967)

VOICE OF SPACE

1931

Oil on canvas

  

Victor Brauner (1903 - 1966)

UNTITLED

1954
Encaustic on board

  

Tancredi Parmeggiani (1927 - 1964)

UNTITLED

1954

Gauche on paper

  

Arshile Gorky (1904 - 1948)

UNTITLED (Estate / Summer)

1944

Oil on canvas

 
 

Jackson Pollock (1912 - 1956)

TWO

1943-45

Oil on canvas

 
 

Henry Moore (1898 - 1986)

THREE STANDING FIGURES

1953

Bronze

 

Yves Tanguy (1900 - 1955)

THE SUN IN ITS JEWEL CASE

1937

Oil on canvas

 

Giorgio de Chirico (1888 - 1978)

THE RED TOWER

1913

Oil on canvas

 

Jackson Pollock  (1913 - 1956)

THE MOON WOMEN

1942

Oil on canvas

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

THE POSTMAN CHEVAL

1932

Paper and fabric collage with pencil, ink and gouache on paper

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

THE ENTIRE CITY

1936-37

Oil on canvas

Marino Marini  (1901 - 1980)

THE ANGEL OF THE CITY

1948 ( Cast 1950)

Bronze

 

Germaine Richier  (1902 - 1959)

TAUROMACHY

1953

Bronze

Giuseppe Santomaso  (1907 - 1990)

SECRET LIFE

1958

Oil on canvas

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

SEA, SUN, EARTHQUAKE

1931

Oil, gouache and collage on canvas

Rene Magritte  (1898 - 1967)

EMPIRE OF LIGHT

1953-54

Oil on canvas

 

Roberto Sebastian Matta  (1911 - 2002)

THE UN-NOMINATOR RENOMINATED

1952-53

Oil on canvas

 

John Tunnard  (1900 - 1971)

PSI

1938

Oil, gesso, gouache, pestel and wax crayon on board

 

Yves Tanguy  (1900 - 1955)

PROMONTORY PALACE

1931

Oil on canvas

 

Paul Delvaux  (1897 - 1994)

THE BREAK OF DAY

1937

Oil on canvas

 

Joan Miro  (1893 - 1983)

PAINTING

1925

Oil on canvas

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

THE KISS

1927

Oil on canvas

Maurizio Nannucci  (1939)

CHANGING PLACE, CHANGING TIME

2003

Neon tubes

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

THE ANTIPOPE

1942

Oil on canvas

 

Mark Rothko  (1903 - 1970)

SACRIFICE

1946

Watercolor, gouache and India ink on paper

 

Marino Marini  (1901 - 1980)

POMONA

1945

Bronze

 

Clyfford Still (1904 - 1980)

MAGGIO

1944

Oil on canvas

 

Paul Klee  (1879 - 1940)

MAGICAL GARDEN

1926

Oil on plaster filled wire mesh

 

Lynn Chadwick  (1914 - 2003)

MAQUETTE FOR TEDDY BOY AND GIRL

1955

Iron and stolit

 

Jenny Holzer  (1950)

GARDEN BENCH

2001

Stone

 

Jackson Pollock  (1912 - 1956)

ENCHANTED FOREST

1947

Oil on canvas

 

Jackson Pollock  (1913 - 1956)

ALCHEMY

1947

Oil on canvas

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

IN THE STREET OF ATHENS

1960

Bronze

 

Yves Tanguy  (1900 - 1955)

IN AN INTERMEDIATE PLACE

1941

Oil on canvas

 

Emilio Vedova  (1919 - 2006)

IMAGE OF TIME

1951

Egg tempera on canvas

 

Henry Moore  (1898 - 1986)

STRINGED OBJECT

1938 (Cast 1956)

Bronze and string

 

Henry Moore  (1898 - 1986)

RECLINING FIGURE

1938

Polished Bronze

 

Henry Moore  (1898 - 1986)

FAMILY GROUP

1944

Bronze

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

GARDEN AIRPLANE TRAP

1935-36

Oil on canvas

 

Frank Stella  (1936)

GRAY SCRAMBLE

1968-69

Oil on pencil on canvas

 

Francis Bacon  (1909 - 1992)

STUDY FOR CHIMPANZEE

1957

Oil and pastel on canvas

 

Ellsworth Kelly  (1923 - 2015)

BLUE RED

1964

Oil on canvas

 

Ellsworth Kelly  (1923 - 2015)

BLACK CURVE IV

1972

Oil on canvas

 

Cy Twombly  (1928 - 2011)

UNTITLED

1961

Oil paint, crayon and lead pencil on canvas

 

Cy Twombly  (1928 - 2011)

UNTITLED

1967

Oil based house paint and wax crayon on canvas

 

Jackson Pollock  (1913 - 1956)

CROAKING MOVEMENT

1946

Oil on canvas

 

Jackson Pollock  (1913 - 1956)

CIRCUMCISION

1946

Oil on canvas

 

Barnett Newman 1905 - 1970

UNTITLED

ETCHING 2

1969

Etching and aquatint

 

Constantin Brancusi  (1876 - 1957)

BIRD IN SPACE

1932-40

Polished brass

 

Fritz Koenig  (1924 - 2017)

CHARIOT

1957

Bronze

 

Arnaldo Pomodoro  (1926)

SFERA N 3

1964

Bronze

 

Anthony Caro  (1924)

HINGE

1966

Painted steel and aluminium

 

Alexander Calder  (1898 - 1976)

ARC OF PETALS

1941

Painted and unpainted aluminium and iron wire

 

Anish Kapoor (1954)

UNTITLED

1993

Sandstone

 

Andy Warhol  (1928 - 1987)

FLOWERS

1964

Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas

 

Jean Arp  (1886 - 1966)

AMPHORA - FRUIT

1946

Bronze

 

Alexander Calder  (1898 - 1976)

THE COW

1970

Painted steel
 

Alberto Giacometti  (1901 - 1966)

WOMEN WITH HER THROAT CUT

1932

Bronze

 

Alexander Calder  (1898 - 1976)

SILVER BED HEAD

1945-46

Silver

 

Alberto Giacometti  (1901 - 1966)

PIAZZA

1947 (Cast 1948)

Bronze

 

Victor Brauner (1903 - 1966)

THE SURREALIST

1947

Oil on canvas

 

Victor Brauner (1903 - 1966)

TELEVENTRE

1954

Encaustic on board

 

Vasily Kandinsky  (1866 - 1944)

WHITE CROSS

1922

Oil on canvas

 

Vasily Kandinsky  (1866 - 1944)

UPWARD

1929

Oil on cardboard

 

Robert Delaunay  (1885 - 1941)

WINDOWS OPEN SIMULTANEOUSLY PART, 3 MOTIF

1912

Oil on oval canvas

 

Salvador Dali  (1904 - 1989)

BIRTH OF LIQUID DESIRES

1931 - 32

Oil and collage on canvas

 

Rufino Tamayo  (1899 - 1991)

HEAVENLY BODIES

1946

Oil with sand on canvas

 

Pablo Piccaso  (1881 - 1973)

HALF-LENGTH PORTRAIT OF A MAN IN A STRIPED JERSEY

 

Pablo Piccaso  (1881 - 1973)

THE STUDIO

1928

Oil and black crayon on canvas

 

Max Ernst  (1891 - 1976)

ATTIREMENT OF THE BRIDE

1940

Oil on canvas

 

Man Ray  (1890 - 1976)

SILHOUETTE

1916

India ink, charcoal, (and gouache?) on board

 

Joan Miro  (1893 - 1983)

SEATED WOMEN II

1939

Oil on canvas

 

Joan Miro  (1893 - 1983)

ESTATE / SUMMER

1925

Oil on canvas

 

Jean Helion  (1904 - 1987)

COMPOSITION

1935

Oil on canvas

 

Jackson Pollock 1912 - 1956

DIRECTION

1945

Oil on canvas

Henri Laurens  (1885 - 1954)

HEAD OF A YOUNG GIRL

1920 (Cast 1959)

Terracotta

 

Amedee Ozenfant  (1886 - 1966)

GUITAR AND BOTTLES

1920

Oil on canvas