A courageous collector who defied convention
An art world pioneer, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) discovered some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and built one of the most important modern art collections in the world. She also taught us some important lessons in how to dress.
Eccentric style that endures
Known for her bold personal style, Guggenheim was not afraid to make a statement: She once wore two different earrings, one designed by Tanguy and one by Alexander Calder, to a gallery opening to show that Surrealism and abstraction could get along just fine. Just as iconic were her famous eyeglasses: butterfly frames she commissioned from artist Edward Melcarth, and a testament to her quirky aesthetic.
Guggenheim’s work was as courageous as her wardrobe. Gloriously outspoken (her memoir details her liaisons with the likes of Samuel Beckett and John Cage), she continued to buy works in London and Paris after war broke out, only fleeing to the States in 1941. Undaunted by the bombs overhead, she was busy acquiring Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space even as the Germans approached Paris.