Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim, Art Collector , NYC


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Peggy Guggenheim (August 26, 1898 - December 23, 1979) was an American art collector.

Biography

Born Marguerite Guggenheim to a wealthy New York City family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912 and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

At the age of 21 Peggy Guggenheim inherited a small fortune, but as the poorer branch of the family, it was an amount far less than the vast wealth of her father's siblings.

She was a clerk in an avant-garde bookstore when she first became enamored with the members of the bohemian artistic community. In 1920 she went to live in Paris, France. Once there, she became friendly with avant-garde writers and artists, many of whom were living in poverty in the Montparnasse Quarter of the city. Man Ray photographed her, and he along with Constantin Brancusi and Marcel Duchamp were all friends whose art she promoted.

She became close friends with writer Natalie Barney and artist Romaine Brooks, and was a regular at Barney's stylish salon. She met Djuna Barnes during this time, and in time became her friend and patron. Barnes was staying at Guggenheim's country manor 'Hayford Hall' when she wrote her best known novel, Nightwood.

Starting in late December 1937, she and Samuel Beckett had a brief affair.

Peggy Guggenheim is portrayed by Amy Madigan in the movie Pollock (2000), directed by Ed Harris, based on the life of Jackson Pollock.

A play by Lanie Robertson based on Peggy Guggenheim's life, Woman Before a Glass, opened at the Promenade Theatre on Broadway, New York on March 10th, 2005. It is a one woman show, which focuses on Peggy Guggenheim's later life. Mercedes Ruehl plays Peggy Guggenheim. Ruehl received an Obie award for her performance.



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