In 1948, Peggy Guggenheim was invited to exhibit her collection at the first Venice Biennale that took place after the end of the World War II.
For the first time, Cubist, abstract, surrealist works by contemporary artists such as Pollock and Mark Rothko were exhibited in Europe. This was the most complete and coherent pavilion of modern art ever presented in Italy. This collection of works arrived in Venice and never went away, because in the meantime Peggy decided that she had had enough of New York and it was time to return to Europe.
At the end of 1948, Peggy Guggenheim bought Palazzo Venier dei Leoni and decided to make it her refuge for 30 years (until 1979, the year of her death). The building was designed in 1749 and remained unfinished, a bit strange and perhaps even modern. Precisely this unfinished quality has always made this Palace different from all the others that overlook the Grand Canal.
Peggy Guggenheim in Venice began to build her collection in 1937, when she decided to open an art gallery without having any knowledge of the artistic world. It was Marcel Duchamp who helped her with advice and suggestions for the setup of the first exhibitions and he also pointed out the artists who were to be supported.
Peggy Guggenheim visited the artists’ studios with the aim to buy at least one painting a day. Her aim was to create a museum of contemporary art and this project found its fulfillment in Venice.
In the meantime, the Guggenheim collection was exhibited in Florence and Milan, then in Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich while ever since 1951 her home has been open to the public during the summer months and its collection became open to visitors.
Shortly before her death, Peggy Guggenheim donated the Palazzo and its collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which was established by her uncle in 1937. Peggy demanded that her home and works of art remain in Venice and are accessible to everyone.
Ticket price for Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Regular price ticket: 15€
Reduced ticket price (for persons older than 65 years): 13€
Reduced ticket price (students up to 26 years): 9€
Free entrance for children up to 10 years old.
Working hours of Peggy Guggenheim Museum
The museum is open every day from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Museum is closed on Tuesday and on 25th December.
The ticket office closes at 5:30pm.