Guggenheim

Guggenheim

[goog-uhn-hahym, goo-guhn-]
Guggenheim, family of American industrialists and philanthropists. Meyer Guggenheim, 1828-1905, b. Aargau canton, Switzerland, emigrated (1847) to the United States, prospered as a retail merchant in Philadelphia, and in time built up a flourishing business importing Swiss embroidery. When nearly 60 he purchased from friends some Colorado mining property. Sensing that sure profits were in processing rather than in mining, he built large smelters in Colorado and Mexico and a refinery at Perth Amboy, N.J. The expansion of the Guggenheim enterprises was accelerated by seven well-trained sons—Isaac, Daniel, Murry, Solomon, Benjamin, Simon, and William—who filled strategic places in the Guggenheim organization. Daniel Guggenheim, 1856-1930, b. Philadelphia, was largely responsible for combining (1901) the Guggenheim interests with the American Smelting and Refining Company, of which he became president. The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, devoted to aeronautical research and development, represents his principal philanthropy. His son, Harry Frank Guggenheim, 1890-1971, b. West End, N.J., fought in the two world wars, served in international conferences, was (1929-33) ambassador to Cuba, and was cofounder with his wife of the Long Island newspaper Newsday. Daniel's brother, Simon Guggenheim, 1867-1941, b. Philadelphia, served (1907-13) as U.S. Senator from Colorado. With his wife he established (1925) in memory of their son the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which grants scores of fellowships annually to scholars, writers, artists, and scientists. Another brother of Daniel, Solomon Robert Guggenheim, 1861-1949, b. Philadelphia, established a foundation to increase public appreciation of modern art. The foundation created (1937) in New York City the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for modern art.

See H. O'Conner, The Guggenheims (1937).

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 updated 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).

Museum in New York City housing the Solomon R. Guggenheim collection of modern art. An example of the “organic architecture” of Frank Lloyd Wright, the building (constructed 1956–59) represents a radical departure from traditional museum design, spiraling upward and outward in a smooth coil of massive, unadorned white concrete. The exhibition space, which has been criticized for upstaging the artwork displayed, consists of a six-story-high spiral ramp encircling an open centre volume lighted by a dome of glass supported by stainless steel. The museum has a comprehensive collection of European painting from throughout the 20th century and of American painting from the second half of the century.

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orig. Marguerite Guggenheim

(born Aug. 26, 1898, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 23, 1979, near Venice, Italy) Art collector and patron of the New York school of artists. Granddaughter of Meyer and Daniel Guggenheim, she inherited a large fortune in 1921. In 1930 she moved to Paris, where she took up a bohemian life, and in 1932 to London. She returned to New York City in 1941, married artist Max Ernst, and in 1942 opened a gallery where she exhibited many of the radical artists she supported, among them Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Hans Hofmann. After World War II she settled in Venice and exhibited her outstanding collection of Cubist, abstract, and Surrealist art; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is still open to the public.

Learn more about Guggenheim, Peggy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Marguerite Guggenheim

(born Aug. 26, 1898, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 23, 1979, near Venice, Italy) Art collector and patron of the New York school of artists. Granddaughter of Meyer and Daniel Guggenheim, she inherited a large fortune in 1921. In 1930 she moved to Paris, where she took up a bohemian life, and in 1932 to London. She returned to New York City in 1941, married artist Max Ernst, and in 1942 opened a gallery where she exhibited many of the radical artists she supported, among them Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Hans Hofmann. After World War II she settled in Venice and exhibited her outstanding collection of Cubist, abstract, and Surrealist art; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is still open to the public.

Learn more about Guggenheim, Peggy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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