The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is the fruit of passion and good fortune.
Passion came from the woman who gathered the works of art that make up the Collection: Peggy Guggenheim – the niece of another great art collector, Solomon Guggenheim, who founded the noted homonymous Foundation – started at a very young age to mix with the American Avant-garde, becoming enamored with broke and alcoholic writers and painters, and befriending Dadaist and surrealist artists. In 1939, inadvertent of the incipient war, she purchased a large number of works by Georges Braque, Salvator Dalí, Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger and Constantin Brâncuşi – to mention but a few – to create her first museum.
Good fortune, as always, found a way to come forth – shining splendidly in November of 1966, when high water completely submerged the city on the lagoon… but caused no damage to the Collection, which had just been packed up to be sent to Stockholm for a special exhibition.
Passion and good fortune are the gods that watch over the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which opened to the public in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in 1949. Here Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism from Europe and the United States enjoy their most beautiful showcase.