Multi-Disciplinary Modernism: Peggy Guggenheim and Art of This Century
Martin-Beal, Kathryn Elizabeth
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Peggy Guggenheim built one of the most important and internationally esteemed collections of modern art, and established what is the most famous gallery of our time, Art of This Century. Guggenheim’s scandalous life and numerous affairs with artists have often problematically overshadowed her role as director of Art of This Century, especially once she published her memoir in 1946. By examining Guggenheim’s role as director of Art of This Century without centering my narrative around Guggenheim’s personal life, I discovered four main ideas that I elaborate on throughout my thesis. Guggenheim approached Art of This Century as an experimental, institutional hybrid and utilized unconventional and innovative methods for displaying artworks. Through Art of This Century, Guggenheim played an integral role in the development of the New York School and Abstract Expressionism, which led to the shift in the international art center from Paris to New York. Art of This Century was key in ushering in the second generation of avant-garde galleries in New York. And finally, Art of This Century is the best iteration of Guggenheim’s Surrealist sensibility, and Art of This Century has become synonymous with Surrealism.