The personal collection of the American heiress, who was one of modern art’s first major patrons, boasts paintings by Kandinsky (above), Picasso, and Miró. The palatial home affords an intimate glimpse at rare masterworks.
Dorsoduro 701, 39/041-240- 5411. Image from Alfredo Dagli Orti/The Art Archive/Corbis. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.
There's plenty of art in Venice, from the churches to the Scuoli to the Accademia. But when you just can't look at another Caravaggio, and even Titian hair doesn't move you any more, refresh yourself with a visit to Peggy's house. The renowned American heiress lived here for 30 years and houses a beautiful selection of her famous modern art collection. It's a real jewel, small enough to feel manageable, significant enough to cover almost all of the modern art movements and include important pieces from Jackson Pollock and Mondrian to Picasso, Dalí and Kandinsky. The petite sculpture garden (above) has the kind of works that will make you smile, and there are also temporary exhibitions. I was there a special Futurism collection and a young intern, seeing me with my 13-year-old friend Niambh, offered us a special one-on-one guide to the paintings. A joy.
Housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the modern art collection of heiress Peggy Guggenheim is one of Italy's most visited art galleries. The collection includes major pieces by Guggenheim's onetime husband, Max Ernst, and works of Surrealism, European Abstraction and Cubism. The 18th-century palazzo retains much of the glamour of the 30 years that Guggenheim lived and entertained here, and a major pleasure is simply walking through the building, which is set low to the ground at just about the waterline of the Canal. Guggenheim herself never wanted to leave—and didn't. Her ashes are interred in the palazzo's garden.