MASTERPIECES OF MODERN ART ON THE GRAND CANAL OF VENICE. WELCOME TO THE PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION Overlooking the Grand Canal, housed in a treasure chest of Istrian stone, is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the most important museum in Italy for European and American art of the 20th century, created by the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim. Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) acquired the majority of her works between the years 1938 and 1947, in Europe and in New York, with the advice of friends, artists, and art critics such as Marcel Duchamp, Herbert Read, Nellie van Doesburg and Howard Putzel. The American patroness exhibited her collection for the first time in Europe at the 1948 Venice Biennale. A year later she purchased Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an unfinished palazzo of the 18th century, where she would live for 30 years and where her museum is located today.
At an international level, the collection is one of the most important collections of its kind, notable for the quality of its works and for its historic breadth: it includes masterpieces of Cubism, Futurism, Metaphysical painting, European abstraction, Surrealism and American Abstract Expressionism by artists such as Picasso, Brancusi, Pollock, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Miró, de Chirico, Dalí, and Calder. Peggy Guggenheim herself first opened the museum to the public, in 1951. Since 1980 it has been operated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, of which it is the Italian branch. Its primary mission is to exhibit Peggy Guggenheim’s collection and to celebrate the life and career of Peggy Guggenheim herself. In 1997 the Gianni Mattioli Collection of early 20th-century Italian paintings was placed on loan at the Collection: masterpieces of Italian Futurism as well as paintings by Amedeo Modigliani and Giorgio Morandi. In 2012, the Foundation’s holdings in Venice were enriched by 80 works of Italian, European and American postwar art bequeathed by the American collectors Hannelore B. Schulhof and husband Rudolph B. Schulhof. Artists represented in this donation include some whose works were already represented in Peggy Guggenheim’s collection (Calder, Dubuffet, Rothko for example) and others whose work was not (such as Eduardo Chillida, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns and Tony Cragg). The Peggy Guggenheim Collection also exhibits sculpture outdoors in its gardens and on its terraces, by artists such as Marino Marini, Alexander Calder, Germaine Richier, and Henry Moore.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection organizes temporary exhibitions, dedicated primarily to dedicated to masters of the twentieth century. They have included monographic exhibitions of the work of Stuart Davis, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Lucio Fontana, Germaine Richier, Medardo Rosso, Richard Pousette-Dart, Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys, Adolph Gottlieb, Giuseppe Capogrossi, and Robert Motherwell. Several exhibitions have focused on masterpieces in Peggy Guggenheim’s collection—by Gino Severini, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Umberto Boccioni for example. Others have celebrated the achievements of other collectors.
The collection of Peggy Guggenheim, her life and the story of the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the temporary exhibitions, the Schulhof and Mattioli Collections, are all subjects of daily guided tours and short lectures, in Italian and English, offered to the public without charge. The museum is open to visitors every day, on a daily schedule, without reservations required.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection
tel. +39.041.2405 411; fax +39.041.5206 885;
Open daily: 10 am - 6pm. Closed Tuesdays and December 25.
Admission charges: euro 15; euro 12 for visitors over 65 years; euro 9 students; free 0-10 years
Services: Peggy Guggenheim Café, Museum Shops, Audio guide
Guided tours daily (except Tuesdays: 11am, 12noon, 4pm, 5pm and 3:30pm with tours of temporary exhibitions.
 Pets not permitted in the museum.
  • Dorsoduro 701
    Venezia (VE)


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is the most important museum in Italy for European and American 20th century art. With masterpieces of Cubism, Futurism, European abstraction, Surrealism and American Abstract Expressionism it is located in Venice in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, in the former home of Peggy Guggenheim. In addition to her personal collection, the museum exhibits masterpieces of the Schulhof Collection and of the Mattioli Collection, as well as temporary exhibitions.
Dorsoduro 701
30123 - Venezia (VE)
Yderligere oplysninger
Daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, of the Guggenheim family of mining industry magnates, and Florette Seligman, of the Seligman family of international bankers, Peggy Guggenheim was born in New York in 1898. In 1921 she moved to Paris, and, through her American husband writer and artist Laurence Vail joined the expatriate and avant-garde art communities there. Constantin Brancusi, Djuna Barnes and Marcel Duchamp became her friends. In 1938-39 Guggenheim operated an art gallery in London, Guggenheim Jeune, where she gave exhibitions to artists such as Jean Cocteau, Wassily Kandinsky, and Yves Tanguy. Between 1938 and 1947, in London, France and New York, Guggenheim assembled her celebrated collection of modern art, with the advice of friends, artists, and art critics such as Duchamp, Herbert Read, Nellie van Doesburg and Howard Putzel.

In 1942, following Guggenheim’s return to the Unites States caused by the outbreak of World War II, she opened her museum-gallery “Art of This Century” in New York, designed by the architect Frederick Kiesler. Peggy exhibited, alongside her collection of European art, numerous European and American, including then unknown talents such as Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Richard Pousette-Dart. Above all she launched the career of Jackson Pollock, “star” of the gallery, to whom she gave his first one-man show in November 1943, followed by three other exhibitions. The support that Guggenheim, together with Howard Putzel, her gallery consultant, gave to the members of the burgeoning New York avant-garde, contributed to the formation of the first American art movement of international acclaim, American Abstract Expressionism.

In 1948 Peggy returned to Europe and exhibited her collection at the first postwar Venice Biennale. It was then that she purchased the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an unfinished palace from the 18th century, where she lived and opened her collection to the public beginning in 1949 with a sculpture exhibition in her garden. In 1950 she organized the first one-man show of Jackson Pollock’s painting in Europe, in the Ala Napoleonica of the Museo Correr in Venice. During the thirty years she spent in Venice, Peggy continued to collect works of art and to support artists such as Edmondo Bacci and Tancredi Parmeggiani. In 1962 she was nominated an honorary citizen of the city of Venice.

In 1969 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York invited Guggenheim to display her collection, and in 1976 she donated her collection to the Solomon R, Guggenheim Foundation. Guggenheim died 23 December 1979, aged 81. Her ashes are interred in a corner of the garden of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, next to the graves of her beloved dogs.
The charm of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection also derives from the palazzo in which it is housed. With its incomplete 18th-century facade, it is located on the Grand Canal. It was designed for the noble Venier family by the Venetian architect Lorenzo Boschetti. Construction of the 5-storey palace began in 1749 but ceased at the height of the ground floor and mezzanine. The cause of this stoppage is unknown it is possible that the Venier family ran out of money, and there is a legend that the powerful Corner family, which lived in the palazzo on the other side of the Grand Canal, opposed the construction of a building that would exceed its own in grandeur and magnificence. It has one of the largest gardens in Venice. From 1910 the celebrated Marchesa Luisa Casati, muse of Gabriele d’Annunzio and hostesss to the Ballets Russes, gave celebrated parties here and in 1938 Doris Viscountess Castlerosse, London socialite and aspiring Hollywood star, commissioned the rooms behind the façade in which Guggenheim was to live from the time she acquired the palace and garden from Castlerosse’s heirs in 1949
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