Guggenheim: Visionaries

Creating a modern museum

Above: Alchemy (1947), by Jackson Pollock. Oil, aluminum, alkyd enamel paint with sand, pebbles, fibers and broken wooden sticks on canvas, 114.6 x 221.3 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, 1976. © 2016 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Home page/Art page: Woman with Yellow Hair (1931), by Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    BY: Howard Karren

    Friday, December 9, 2016

Behind many venerable institutions are radical beginnings, and that is certainly true for art museums, such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. In honor of its 80th anniversary, the Guggenheim has selected more than 170 modern works from its permanent collection to exhibit in Frank Lloyd Wright’s celebrated rotunda. Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim will explore not only avant-garde innovations from the late-19th through mid-20th centuries, but also the ambitious contributions of six patrons who brought to light some of the most significant artists of their day.

PROVKR members can enjoy some of the best of this exhibition here, above and below.

Woman with Yellow Hair (1931), by Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Woman with Yellow Hair (1931), by Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

 

Composition 8 (1923), by Vasily Kandinsky. Oil on canvas, 140 x 201 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Composition 8 (1923), by Vasily Kandinsky. Oil on canvas, 140 x 201 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

 

The Antipope (1941–42), by Max Ernst. Oil on canvas, 160.8 x 127.1 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
The Antipope (1941–42), by Max Ernst. Oil on canvas, 160.8 x 127.1 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

 

The Break of Day (L’aurore) (1937), by Paul Delvaux. Oil on canvas, 120 x 150.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976. © 2017 Foundation Paul Delvaux, Sint-Idesbald—ARS/SABAM Belgium.
The Break of Day (L’aurore) (1937), by Paul Delvaux. Oil on canvas, 120 x 150.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976. © 2017 Foundation Paul Delvaux, Sint-Idesbald—ARS/SABAM Belgium.

 

Little French Girl (The First Step [III]) (c. 1914–18), Constantin Brancusi. Oak, 152.4 x 38.7 x 32.4 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: David Heald.
Little French Girl (The First Step [III]) (c. 1914–18), Constantin Brancusi. Oak, 152.4 x 38.7 x 32.4 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: David Heald.
Polyphonic (1945), by Perle Fine. Oil on canvas, 96.5 x 111.8 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2017 A. E. Artworks, LLC.
Polyphonic (1945), by Perle Fine. Oil on canvas, 96.5 x 111.8 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2017 A. E. Artworks, LLC.

 

Dancers in Green and Yellow (ca. 1903), by Edgar Degas. Pastel and charcoal on several pieces of tracing paper, mounted to paperboard, 98.8 x 71.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Dancers in Green and Yellow (ca. 1903), by Edgar Degas. Pastel and charcoal on several pieces of tracing paper, mounted to paperboard, 98.8 x 71.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

 

Composition No. 1: Lozenge with Four Lines (1930), by Piet Mondrian. Oil on canvas, 75.2 x 75.2 cm; vertical axis: 105 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust.
Composition No. 1: Lozenge with Four Lines (1930), by Piet Mondrian. Oil on canvas, 75.2 x 75.2 cm; vertical axis: 105 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust.

 

Red Balloon (1922), by Paul Klee. Oil (and oil transfer drawing?) on chalk-primed gauze, mounted on board, 31.7 x 31.1 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Red Balloon (1922), by Paul Klee. Oil (and oil transfer drawing?) on chalk-primed gauze, mounted on board, 31.7 x 31.1 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

 

The Guggenheim Foundation’s collection was shaped through major acquisitions from contemporaries who shared Solomon R. Guggenheim’s pioneering spirit. These include a group of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early School of Paris masterworks from Justin K. Thannhauser (1892–1976); the eclectic Expressionist inventory of émigré art dealer Karl Nierendorf (1889–1947); the incomparable holdings of abstract and Surrealist painting and sculpture from self-proclaimed “art addict” Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979), Solomon’s niece; and key examples from the estates of artists Katherine S. Dreier (1877–1952) and the German-born Hilla Rebay (1890–1967), both pivotal figures in promoting modern art in America. Below are photographs of these six key collectors.

Peggy Guggenheim seated on a Correalist Rocker, Surrealist Gallery, Art of This Century, New York, c. 1942. From left: René Magritte, Voice of Space (La voix des airs, 1931); Leonor Fini, The Shepherdess of the Sphinxes (1941); Leonora Carrington, The Horses of Lord Candlestick (1938); and Joan Mirò, Dutch Interior II (1928). © AP Photos courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2017.
Peggy Guggenheim seated on a Correalist Rocker, Surrealist Gallery, Art of This Century, New York, c. 1942. From left: René Magritte, Voice of Space (La voix des airs, 1931); Leonor Fini, The Shepherdess of the Sphinxes (1941); Leonora Carrington, The Horses of Lord Candlestick (1938); and Joan Miró, Dutch Interior II (1928). © AP Photos courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2017.

 

Solomon R. Guggenheim at the Plaza Hotel, New York, c. 1937, with Rudolf Bauer’s Andante (from Tetraptychon: Symphony in Four Movements, 1926–30). Photo: Underwood and Underwood Studios, New York, courtesy HvRF Archives.
Solomon R. Guggenheim at the Plaza Hotel, New York, c. 1937, with Rudolf Bauer’s Andante (from Tetraptychon: Symphony in Four Movements, 1926–30). Photo: Underwood and Underwood Studios, New York, courtesy HvRF Archives.

 

Katherine S. Dreier in the Société Anonyme collection exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, January 13–February 23, 1942. Courtesy Katherine S. Dreier Papers/Société Anonyme Archive, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Dreier Papers/Société Anonyme Archive).
Katherine S. Dreier in the Société Anonyme collection exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, January 13–February 23, 1942. Courtesy Katherine S. Dreier Papers/Société Anonyme Archive, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Dreier Papers/Société Anonyme Archive).

 

Hilla Rebay in her studio at Franton Court, Greens Farms, Connecticut, c. 1946. © 2017 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.
Hilla Rebay in her studio at Franton Court, Greens Farms, Connecticut, c. 1946. © 2017 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

 

Karl Nierendorf holding a Mexican sculpture, 1934. Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.
Karl Nierendorf holding a Mexican sculpture, 1934. Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

 

Justin K. Thannhauser in his private residence, New York, November 1957, with Pablo Picasso’s Fernande With a Black Mantilla (1905–06), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum). Courtesy ZADIK.
Justin K. Thannhauser in his private residence, New York, November 1957, with Pablo Picasso’s Fernande With a Black Mantilla (1905–06), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum). Courtesy ZADIK.