Collections: Peggy Guggenheim – ‘A Celebration’


Author: Karole P.B.Vaíl with an essay by Thomas M.Messer
Publisher: Guggenheim Museum, New York
Year: 1998
ISBN: 0-8109-6914-9

Hardcover with dust jacket, 160 pages with 81 illustrations, English
Condition: very good

This elegant volume celebrates the 100th anniversary of Peggy Guggenheim’s birth in 1898. Guggenheim’s granddaughter Karole Vail provides an intimate biographical account of the collector’s extraordinary life, from her privileged upbringing through her friendships with such avant-garde figures as Samuel Beckett and Marcel Duchamp. Before World War II, she ran the Guggenheim Jeune gallery in London, quickly accumulating a superb collection of Surrealist and abstract art. In 1942, she escaped to New York with Max Ernst and opened the landmark Art of The Century gallery, where she exhibited her collection and works by such emerging artists as Jackson Pollock. Guggenheim finally settled in Venice in the 18th-century palazzo that became the Peggy Guggenheim Collection after her death. Her guestbooks, pages from which are published here for the first time, reveal an astounding array of visitors and drawings by Jean Arp, Marc Chagall, and Alberto Giacometti, among others. Thomas Messer, former director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, sums up the courtship that ended with the donation of Guggenheim’s collection – much of which is reproduced here in full color – to the foundation. Numerous personal photographs make this centennial celebration a beautiful tribute to a life dedicated to art.

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