Born to a wealthy New York family in 1898, Peggy Guggenheim moved to Paris at the end of World War I and immersed herself in the vibrant arts scene of the interwar period. Through her contacts, and savvy critical eye, she amassed an outstanding collection of avant garde art by some of the 20th century’s most famous abstract and surrealist artists.
Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray and Piet Mondrain were some of her early acquisitions, and with the shift to New York as the hub of contemporary art following the outbreak of WWII, she added works by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Willem de Koonig to her collection.
During her lifetime, she exhibited her collection in various museums. A Peggy Guggenheim Museum continues to exist in Venice, and some of her collection is also included in the Guggenheim Museum in New York that was begun under a foundation started by her uncle Solomon.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict is a 2015 documentary that looks at both her passion for art, and her passion for life, which had a strong bohemian character that included numerous love affairs with prominent artists such as Max Ernst and Samuel Beckett.
The film screens tonight and Sunday at 7 p.m. at the RPL Theatre. Here’s the trailer: