PORTRAIT OF PEGGY GUGGENHEIM (1898 - 1979)
THE GREATEST COLLECTOR OF MODERN ART IN THE WORLD
Extravagant visionary, collector and patron of the arts, Peggy Guggenheim is a legendary figure in the art world. MyStudiolo retraces the journey of this extraordinary woman in: 6 key dates 4 artworks 3 anecdotes 1 quote
1919 At 21, her uncles and grandfather leave her an important inheritance - her father having left the family ruined after his death in the sinking of the Titanic. To keep busy, she decides to work in a bookstore in New York. It is through books that she discovers art, and it will change her life.
1938 She opens her first gallery in London Guggenheim Jeune. Brâncuși will be her first exhibition. She meets Jean Arp and buys the first piece of her collection from him. Guggenheim Jeune becomes a recognized gallery.
1940 The arrival of the German army in Paris forced her to return to New York. Fortunately, she managed to shelter her works but also save a large number of artists by bringing them to the United States including Max Ernst who will become her second husband.
1942 She opened her Art of This Century gallery in New York where she exhibited the young American abstract generation, including Rothko and Jackson Pollock, whom she was the first to discover and collect. The exhibitions she organized there changed the face of American art.
1948 During the Biennale, Venice lends her the pavilion of Greece to show her collection. The exhibition of such marginal works deeply marked the bienniale and thanks to it, American post-war art made its first steps in Europe. Based in Venice, she bought the Palazzo dei Leoni- an atypical unfinished 18th century building - to exhibit her paintings there.
1959 She returns to New York one last time to attend the inauguration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum created by her uncle and "which looks like a huge garage" she will say, laughing. She is shocked by the turn the American art movement has taken. It has become a speculative investment.
Pablo Picasso, The swimming, 1937
Salvador Dalí, Birth of liquid desires, 1932
René Magritte, The empire of lights, 1953
Giorgio De Chirico, The poet's uncertainty, 1913
Drunk with modern art, she buys a painting a day and becomes 'Art Addict' according to her own expression.
The Louvre museum deemed its collection worthless and refused to protect its works during the war.
She is buried in the garden of her palace Venier dei Leoni, next to her beloved dogs.
«I dedicated myself to my collection. A collection means hard work. It was what I wanted to do and I made it my life’s work. I am not an art collector. I am a museum.»
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