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Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict Hardcover – 15 Oct 2001
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‘Learned and wonderfully gossipy. Gill’s book is ripping, zestful and a treasure trove of spicy anecdotes and bitchy quotes’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times
‘Often touching and always richly entertaining, like its subject’ Hilary Spurling, Daily Telegraph
‘Anton Gill tells this extraordinary story with vigour and panache’ Selina Hastings, Sunday Telegraph
From the Back Cover
Peggy Guggenheim's tempestuous life (1898-1979) spanned the most exciting and volatile years of the twentieth century, and she lived it to the full. How she became one of the foremost collectors of modern art – and one of the century's most formidable lovers – is the subject of this authoritative and lively biography. 'Mrs Guggenheim, how many husbands have you had?', she was once asked. 'Do you mean my own, or other people's?'
Her father, Benjamin Guggenheim, went down with the Titanic while he was returning from installing the lift machinery in the Eiffel Tower, and it was in Paris in the 1930s that the young heiress to a small fortune began to make her mark in the art world. Married uneasily to a drunken English dilettante writer called Laurence Vail, she joined the American expatriate bohemian set. Her many lovers included such lions of the world of art and literature as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst (whom she later married), Yves Tanguy and Roland Penrose. Yet her real love always seemed to elude her.
In the later 1930s Peggy set up one of the first galleries of modern art in London, quickly building up a magnificent selection of works by Picasso(who snubbed her), Magritte, Miro and Brancusi and buying great numbers of paintings from artists fleeing to America after the Nazi invasion of France. Escaping from Vichy France, she set up in New York, where she was hugely influential in assisting the beginnings of the new American Abstract Expressionist movement (in particular Jackson Pollock).
After the war, she returned to Europe, living in Venice until the end of her life. Today her memory is enshrined in the world-famous palazzo that houses her Guggenheim collection.
Meticulously researched, filled with colourful incident and a distinguished cast-list, Anton Gill's biography reveals the inner drives of a remarkable woman and indefatigable patron.See all Product description
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A great and informative read.
It is a very well researched book but it fails to give the life of Peggy Guggenheim. It is filled with too much details on arts and artists and their interconnections and influence on the 19th century modern art that at the end of the book I feel as if I know very little about the life of the collector.
I'm sure that an arts student or someone who has the basics to understand who's who the book is talking about would enjoy it.
I didn't. It took me three months to read and believe me I read it for the simple reason that I wanted to finish the book.
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