Explore the Peggy Guggenheim collection, one of Venice’s most important cultural activities with a special skip-the-line ticket. Admire works of Modern art by Picasso, Pollock, Dalí, and more…
After her father drowned with the Titanic, the rich heiress Peggy Guggenheim became one of the greatest collectors of 20th-century art. Overlooking the Grand Canal, her Venetian palace, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, houses a number of surrealist, futuristic, and expressionist works of art by a profusion of artists, including her ex-husband Max Ernst, but also by famous artists such as Jackson Pollock, Picasso, Magritte, and Salvador Dalí.
A Skip-the-line ticket allows you to access this extraordinary building in Venice, discover the tormented life of this ambitious woman, and admire the works of influential 20th-century artists!
Photo credit: Flickr – Nathan Hughes Hamilton
A palace with a rich history, home to a fascinating museum
The niece of businessman art collector Solomon R. Guggenheim, Peggy began her own art collection according to her own convictions rather than for prestige. Her collection features a myriad of artworks by lesser-known artists to famous names, including works by modern artists such as Kandinsky, Man Ray, Rothko, Mondrian, and Joseph Cornell. Some of these artists also contributed to the interior decoration of the palazzo Venier dei Leoni, including Calder who created a silver headboard on display in Peggy Guggenheim’s former bedroom. Displayed in the corners of the main galleries, photographs show how fabulously eccentric the palace’s rooms were in Peggy’s time.
After having fled Paris two days before the Nazis marched in the city, The Jewish American collector settled in Venice in 1948. Peggy became a strong advocate of modern Italian art, which had gone out of favour when Mussolini came to power and took sides with Nazi Germany during World War II.
Photo credit: Flickr – Heather Cowper
After presenting her collection at the XXIV Venice Biennale, Peggy was looking for a place to store her works. She then acquired an unfinished 18th century palace, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which she transformed into her own exhibition space.
A museum that also gives pride of place to Italian art
Through her museum, Peggy Guggenheim fostered renewed interest in post-war Italian art and revived the reputation of leading Italian Futurists, whose style had been co-opted to make fascism visually more “appealing”. Thanks to her support, artists such as Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio Morandi, Giacomo Balla, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Giorgio de Chirico benefited from a public reappraisal of their work, as have Venetian artists Emilio Vedova and Giuseppe Santomaso. Today, passing gondoliers cannot ignore the view of one of Peggy’s statues displayed at the edge of the Grand Canal: Marino Marini’s Angelo della Città (1948), a male nude in bronze portrayed on horseback, and quite literally excited by his surroundings.
Photo credit: Flickr – Michael Jones
In the sculpture garden where Peggy’s ashes were buried, next to the graves of her many dogs and not far from a tree planted by Yoko Ono, discover works by great sculptors such as Moore, Giacometti, Brancusi, and Kapoor. Finally, the museum’s pavilion houses a cafe, a bookshop, and temporary exhibitions. Just next to the museum is a larger museum shop, where you can purchase replicas of Peggy’s signature winged-glasses, reminiscent of San Marco’s lion.
The entrance fee to the museum is €15 (€9 for students under 26). However for €18, you will be entitled to a skip-the-line access to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum for one day.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is located between the Accademia and Santa Maria della Salute Church. The nearest vaporetto stop is “Accademia” (vaporetto no. 1 or 2).
Photo credit: Flickr – Nora Lalle