The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice: heart and soul

Calder | Guggenheim Collection


When you enter the first room of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection you feel like you’re inside a house born to be a museum.

In this post I’ll explain why Peggy committed herself heart and soul to this collection of works of art.

Peggy Guggenheim | Venice house

In the post about the Peggy Guggenheim Collection I told you that during her 30-year stay in Venice, the rooms of Peggy’s home hosted all sorts of artists.
As soon as you pass the entrance door, you will soon understand that Peggy committed herself heart and soul to this collection of works of art, also thanks to her friendships and love affairs.

At the entrance, the Arc of Petals by Alexander Calder and two works by Picasso will greet us.
Calder was a close friend of Peggy, and during the early 1930s created sculptures in which balanced components moved.
It was Marcel Duchamp, another fundamental friend of Peggy, because he introduced her to the artists whose works would be exhibited in her collection, who first devised the term “mobiles” to indicate those works moved by the action of air currents, such as that sculpture you can admire in the first room of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
Calder’s works consist of flat piece of painted metal, and they recall the motif of Surrealist painting and sculpture of Joan Mirò and Jean Arp, you can see in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, as well.
Samuel Beckett, another friend of Peggy, insisted that she interest in contemporary art, and Marcel Duchamp taught her, as she herself said “the difference among Abstract and Surrealist art”.

READ ALSO: the post I dedicated to “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict”, the movie about her life.

Among the first works of art that captured Peggy’s attention there were masterpieces of Picasso’s Cubism, and among them there was “The Studio” now on exhibition in the first room and painted by Picasso in 1928 and purchased by Peggy in 1942, at the suggestion of her husband at that time Max Ernst.

Each work belonging to this art collection has a story connecting it with the life of each person Peggy Guggenheim met. And going through the rooms of the museum means making a journey in the art of the early 20th century, made up of artists, intellectuals, but also friends and lovers.

Picasso | Guggenheim Venice

Pablo Picasso, “La Baignade”,1937 – Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Guggenheim Collection | Picasso and Calder

Picasso | Guggenheim Museum

Pablo Picasso, The Studio (L’Atelier), 1928 – Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni
Dorsoduro 701 – Venice


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