Guggenheim, Peggy

Guggenheim, Peggy (Marguerite Guggenheim), 1898–1979, American modern art patron and collector, b. New York City. The daughter of Benjamin, niece of Solomon, and grand-daughter of Meyer Guggenheim, she grew up in luxury, inherited a fortune, and became a friend, patron, and sometime lover to a number of avant-garde artists and writers. She moved to Paris (1930) and then to London, where she opened (1938) Guggenheim Jeune, a gallery showing mainly abstract and surrealist art, e.g., works by Brancusi, Kandinsky, Magritte, and Max Ernst, whom she married (and divorced). World War II impelled her return (1941) to New York, where she opened (1942) Art of This Century, one of the earliest and most important venues for abstract expressionism, a movement whose artists she actively supported. Guggenheim amassed a superb collection of modern art, which was installed in her Venice palazzo when she moved there in 1946. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is now administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

See her memoirs (1946 and 1960, combined and upd. 1980); biographies by J. B. Weld (1986) and A. Gill (2002); L. Flint, Handbook: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (1983), L. Tacou-Rumney, Peggy Guggenheim: A Collector's Album (1996).

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