PEGGY GUGGENHEIM & SCHULHOF COLLECTIONS – a guided visit to the most frequently visited Museum of Modern Art in Italy, and the second most seen museum in Venice after the Doges’ Palace.
It was created by the American millionaire Peggy Guggenheim (New York 1898- Camposanpiero 1979). You’ll learn about her life between the USA and Europe, about her husbands, children and countless love affairs, about her dogs, but above all the accent will be on her enthusiastic love for art collecting and about her links with the artists.
Peggy acquired most of her collection in London, Paris and New York between 1938 and 1947. The works of art were selected with the advice of artists and critics, such as Marcel Duchamp, Herbert Read, André Breton and Max Ernst, Peggy’s second husband.
Her adventure in the art world started in Paris in the 1930s. Paris was then the best place in the world to meet famous artists.
The Nazi invasion of France forced her to move away from Paris, first to England, and then to New York like most of the European artists in her entourage.
In 1942 she opened her pioneering gallery Art of This Century in New York, that soon became a meeting place for European and young American artists, including Jackson Pollock. Piet Mondrian suggested Peggy support him.
Here she exhibited her already rich collection of European art and organized exhibitions starring young American artists, such as Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, William Baziotes and Jackson Pollock.
She purchased Pollock’s early paintings made from the “dripping” technique, and became his patroness.
In 1948 Peggy’s collection was successfully exhibited at the first postwar Venice Biennale.
The following year Peggy acquired Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an unfinished 18th century home on the Grand Canal, where she was to live for thirty years and which now hosts the museum.
We’ll stop to have a look at the black & white pictures spread here and there showing the aspect of the house when Peggy was alive.
We’ll also see her famous collection of African statues and her iconic earrings.
In 1976, Peggy gave her Venetian home and her collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.
However, none of her 350 pieces could be lent for more than six months, as they had to be on display in Venice.
A word will be spent about her relationship with the other Guggenheim and about the present issues about her inheritance.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection showcases an important selection of Cubist art (Picasso, Braque, Léger), European abstract art(Mondrian, Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Arp, Malevich), Surrealist painters (Joan Miró, Ernst, Dalí, Tanguy, Magritte), and American abstract Expressionists (Pollock, Gorky, Rothko).
The Collection has evolved with the acquisition of long term loans from other institutions, museums or individuals, as well as by donations to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation which, since Peggy Guggenheim’s death, have been added to the Venice Collection.
These loans and acquisitions augment the postwar European collections in Venice; they add to the documentation of Peggy Guggenheim’s life as a collector and gallerist; and they contribute a contemporary component of living artists to the museum.
In the light of these novelties, Peggy Guggenheim’s exceptional collection becomes more classical and historic.
The Nasher Scupture Garden (after Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher), exhibits art from the permanent collection (Alberto Giacometti, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Henry Moore), sculptures by Dan Graham, Herbert Hamak, Jenny Holzer, Maurizio Nannucci and Fabrizio Plessi, and other long-term loans from other collections, enlarging the presence of contemporary sculpture in the collection.
Masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli Collection are also exhibited, including important Italian Futurist works, such as Boccioni, Balla, Carra’, and early works by Modigliani and Morandi.
The museum has recently acquired an important number of new artworks bequeathed to the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation by Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof.
They met Peggy in 1954 at the Venice Biennale and shared her interest and enthusiasm for Modern Art, which became the core of their private collection.
The 83 artworks, all from after 1945, extend the museum collections through the 1980s: Afro, Alberto Burri, Ellsworth Kelly, Lucio Fontana, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor, Cy Twombly, and Frank Stella.
Against this remarkable background of modern and contemporary art, the museum also organizes temporary exhibitions.
Peggy Guggenheim & Schulhof Collections in Venice
A proud American museum with distinctive Venetian charm. Agreat occasion to explore the Dorsoduro areatoo, with its art galleries, museums, antique shops, cafés and its distinctive ‘rive gauche’ athmosphere.
Venice is one of the international capitals of modern & contemporary art with its Biennale and other collections. Not far from the Guggenheim Museum is Francois Pinault’s “Dogana”, and along the Zattere you’ll find the Emilio Vedova Foundation.
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