15 September 2014
Peggy Guggenheim is one of the most influential characters in art history, an American citizen who comes from a wealthy family in New York City. She is the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, one of the passengers who were on board in the famous ship, Titanic, and niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, founder of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Peggy collected many artworks from Europe and America and exhibited her collection in several places. Pieces in her collection embrace Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. She lived in Paris for a short period before moving permanently to Venice where she established her museum in Palazzo dei Leoni. Palazzo dei leoni is contemporary in terms of functional spaces and location. The palace has an extraordinary view to the water front and consists of an individual floor, Garden and terrace. The rooms are connected to each other by corridors giving a sense of freedom to audiences, while the entrance of the palace overlooking to the main garden gives an inviting feeling to the place. Moreover, the fascinating interior work done by the Solomon R.Guggenheim Foundation is very evident.. These and other amenities make the Palace the ideal place to organize and display artworks. There are many palaces in Venezia that have many floors and divisions, a very difficult task to anyone wants to turn these palaces into a museum or gallery, due to the location of the rooms and the difficulty of movement in the narrow aisles. Choosing the right place is an important factor in the field of art, because the connection between the place and concept of art exhibited is very important. But it didn’t surprise me that Peggy chose this Palace to exhibit her art collection. Her expertise in the field of art and museums are magnificent. She always wanted to establish her own modern art museum in Europe. But because of the political changes and the World War II, many aspirations of this woman had been postponed.
My favorite room in Palazzo dei Leoni is the one dedicated to Peggy’s daughter Pegeen, the youngest artist in the exhibition space. Not much has been written about this artist, but her work speaks for itself. She started making art at the age of seven. Her innocent vision of reality is reflected in her paintings. The majority of her work focuses on issues of femininity, happy people, non-basic bright colors and the theme of family. Lots of her paintings were finsihed during her marriage with Jean Hélion, a happy time in her life, and clearly seen in her works. She passed away in 1967, at the age of 41 and soon after her paintings started to get dareker. Peggy had wanted to keep her memory alive even after her death. As a result, she dedicated a room to display her works permanently. Palazzo dei Leoni visitors usually will explore the unique and creative sculpture located in the Nasher garden followed by the Schulhof sculpture garden, a modern sculpture surrounded by a huge tree, and a great place for Meditation. Finally, the crowds split between exploring Hannelore B. & Rudolph B. Schulhof’s Collection and Peggy Guggenheim’s.