With the Peggy Guggenheim exhibition, The last Dogaressa, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection celebrates the Venetian life of its founder by going through, stage after stage, the exhibitions and events that marked those thirty years spent at the lagoon city from 1948 to 1979, revealing some authentic milestones in the history of twentieth-century art.
The exhibition specifically focuses on the patron’s post-1948 collecting after she left New York, closing the Art of This Century gallery-museum (1942-47) and moved to Venice. About sixty works from the collection including paintings, sculptures and works on paper by known and less-known artists will be on display, selected from those purchased in the ‘40s and 1979, the year in which Peggy passed away.
The exhibition therefore provides a rare opportunity to see and re-contextualise famous masterpieces such as Empire of Light by René Magritte and Francis Bacon’s Study for Chimpanzee, alongside rarely exhibited works like Autumn at Courgeron by René Brô, Serendipity 2 by Gwyther Irwin, as well as Kenzo Okada’s Above the White and Tomonori Toyofuku’s Deriva no. 2, artists that show how Peggy Guggenheim was also interested in the artistic scene beyond the European and American borders.
Also on display to the public for the first time is a series of scrapbooks. Precious albums in which the collector meticulously kept newspaper clippings, photographs and letters from 1948 to 1970 and which will reveal unpublished episodes of her successful and impassioned philanthropic life.