|Peggy Guggenheim, the consummate collector|
To the art world the name Peggy Guggenheim resonates as a colorful character who was ahead of her time and became a central figure in the modern art movement. As she meandered through the cultural upheaval of the twentieth century she collected not only art, but launched the careers of artists, many of whom become her lovers. Sharply put together with interviews of celebrated artists, cultural personalities, curators, and gallery owners, the firm is a riveting documentary and consistently entertaining.
Peggy's colorful personal history included romantic liaisons with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollack, Alexander Calder, Marc Duchamp, as well as countless others. this film is rich with the lives of of the most important artists of the time, and Peggy is in the center of the action.
|Peggy Guggenheim and Calder Mobile|
While battling personal tragedy, her father dying on the titanic, the loss of her beloved daughter, she not only championed the work of many seminal artists, but also built one of the most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her Venetian palazzo.
From Polly's Blog notes: womendeterminedtosucceed.
I first saw Peggy's extraordinary art collection at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal in Venice when I took twenty college students from the Fashion Institute of Technology on a whirlwind fashion tour several years ago. In an attempt to include some cultural venues on the fashion expedition I took the students to Venice to view Peggy's magnificent collection of modern art.
The students were in awe of the art works as well as the garden sculptures, but more than that your presence, though absent, was felt deeply and inspired visitors alike. Your name is synonymous with the Guggenheim Museum yet you carved out a life determined to succeed as an independent art collector who bought art, not as an investment, but primarily because you loved the works, sometimes even picked up works of art even if they didn't sell, but now are coveted masterpieces.
THE HEIRESS AND ART
It certainly makes a big difference if you have enormous wealth to support purchasing art. Peggy was unique and became a true patron of the arts discovering among modern artists Jackson Pollock when he was working as a humble carpenter in the Solomon Guggenheim museum. Peggy was a unique woman, born in 1898 to a wealthy New York City family. Her lineage gave her certain advantages.
THE AVANT-GARDE CONNECTION
|Max Ernst and Peggy Guggenheim|
LOVE AFFAIRS AND FAMILY
Peggy coveted both art and lovers and became notorious for her overt love affairs, such was her free spirit. However, she did sandwich in several marriages. On one of her visits to New York when visiting a gallery owned by a cousin, Harold Loeb, she met Laurence Vail, a Dada sculptor and writer who was part of the avant-garde intelligentsia in Greenwich Village. They married two years later and had two children, Michael Sindbad and Pegeen Vail Guggenheim.
The marriage ended and in 1928 she met and formed a relationship with the English intellectual John Holms, never a success he was a man who suffered from writer’s block. They engaged in a tempestuous alliance that was riddled with drunken harangues and boisterous rows. Her second husband was Max Ernst, in 1941. Another liaison was with Kenneth McPherson with whom she felt comforted and safe, and they eventually became the best of friends. Throughout her days in Venice Peggy was always surrounded by her beloved Lhasa terriers and when she died she was interred in the sculpture garden of her home next to her beloved dogs inside the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.