The Peggy Guggenheim ★★

Marino Marini's man on horse at the Peggy Guggenheim modern art museum in Venice.
Marino Marini's Man on Horse at the Peggy Guggenheim modern art museum in Venice. (Photo by Edal).

The modern art of the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim (Peggy Guggenheim Museum) in Venice

The Museo Peggy Guggenheim, Venezia
The Peggy Guggenheim (Photo by Michael Jones)
For all its Old Masters and Renaissance masterpieces, Italy is a notable slacker when it comes to great museums of modern art.

Oh, they try hard. They have plenty of spaces and galleries devoted to 20th century and contemporary art. It's just hard to find a collection of any significance.

(This is not really their fault. After ruling art world for some 600 years, Italy became distant second banana to France in the late 19th century, when the Impressionists broke with the by-then ossified artistic traditions, then to the rest of Europe and the U.S. in the 20th century.)

Well, the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice goes a long way toward making up for the deficiency.

In fact, this is one of the world's top modern art museums, installed in Peggy Guggenheim's former residence in Venice, the uncompleted (only the first floor was built) 18th-century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, right on the Grand Canal.

Dynamism of a Biker, or The Cyclist (1913) by Umberto Boccioni in the Peggy Guggenheim Museum of Venice, Italy
Dynamism of a Biker, or The Cyclist (1913) by Umberto Boccioni.
Based around the late, great artistic patron's personal collection, it is one of the most complete surveys of avant-garde art from the early and mid–20th century.

There are works by her short-time hubby Max Ernst, her greatest discovery Jackson Pollock, as well as pieces by some of her faves: Picasso (his 1911 The Poet is notable), Miró, Mondrian, Brancusi, Duchamp, Kadinsky, Chagall, Dalí, and Giacometti.

One of Tuscan sculptor Marino Marini's patented man-on-horseback bronzes (a particularly racy version, worthy of a Viagra ad) cools its spurs in the small garden overlooking the Grand Canal.

Tips & links

Details

Peggy Guggenheim Collection ★★
Calle San Cristoforo, San Gregorio 701, Dorsoduro.
Vaporetto: Accademia or Salute
tel. +39-041-240-5411
www.guggenheim-venice.it

Open Wed-Mon 10am–6pm
Adm

Book tickets in advance: Select Italy

Advance tickets

Book tickets in advance: You can buy your admission ahead of time through Select Italy.

How long does the Peggy Guggenheim take?

Planning your day: If for you this is just a break from cathedral and Old Masters, give it at least 30 minutes; if you're into 20th century art, plan to spend around an hour an a half. Venice itineraries

Free talks

There are free presentations of a single work of art in the collection at 11am and 5pm daily (in Italian or English, depending on guides and public available).

Similar presentations on the life of Peggy Guggenheim and how she made her collection are offered at noon and 4pm daily

Great gift shop and cafe

Like most modern art museums, the Peggy Guggenheim has a particularly seductive gift shop crammed with fun, high-brow souvenirs.

There's also a lovely little terrace cafe overlooking the sculpture garden

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Details
Peggy Guggenheim Collection ★★
Calle San Cristoforo, San Gregorio 701, Dorsoduro.
Vaporetto: Accademia or Salute
tel. +39-041-240-5411
www.guggenheim-venice.it

Open Wed-Mon 10am–6pm
Adm

Book tickets in advance: Select Italy


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