Peggy Guggenheim Collection | Somewhat off the beaten track of the large tourist flows that pass through Venice in the high season, a relatively small but very fine museum of modern art is located in a beautiful 18th-century villa.
In the Palazzo Venier Dei Leoni, the former residence of Peggy Guggenheim on the Grand Canal, you can admire not only the extensive personal art collection of the former resident, which shows many works by leading artists of the twentieth century but you can also enjoy changing special exhibitions.
The villa also has an impressive outside area, an oasis of tranquillity that offers visitors a well-earned breather from the hustle and bustle of Venice.
- 1 History of the Guggenheim Museum in Venice
- 2 Opening times of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
- 3 Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
- 4 Admission fees to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- 5 Biography
- 6 Guggenheim Collection
- 7 Overall impression of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
- 8 Practical tips
- 9 Location and Directions
- 10 Is a visit to the museum worthwhile?
History of the Guggenheim Museum in Venice
After Peggy Guggenheim had to emigrate to America during the Nazi era, she returned to Europe after the end of the war. In Venice, she acquired the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in 1948, a magnificent, one-storeyed and never completed bourgeois house, which she had rebuilt and used both as living space and as exhibition space for her steadily growing art collection.
From 1949 she showed contemporary art here, which she had acquired mainly between 1937 and 1948 in Europe and the USA. After her death in 1980, the museum was continued as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and today is considered one of the most important museums for modern art not only in Europe but worldwide.
Opening times of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Here are the opening times for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
|Jan to Dec||Wed to Mon||10:00 - 18:00 H||17:30 H|
The museum is therefore closed on Tuesdays and once a year on 25 December.
This important exhibition has become one of the most important sights in Venice. The museum has a manageable size and therefore only limited visitor capacity. There are often very long waiting times, which you should consider when arriving before the last admission date. Therefore, I always recommend buying tickets in advance on the internet with priority access authorization.
Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Already the entrance area fascinates the visitor. The first thing to be seen is the horse sculpture L’Angelo della Citta by the Italian artist Marino Marini, whose rider with his originally unscrewable phallus has always caused a stir. Inside the magnificent Palazzo, the visitor is immersed in the abstract, futuristic, and modernist world of the Guggenheim Collection.
Over the years, the museum has been steadily enlarged and expanded. In addition to the original works donated by the founder, visitors are presented with a large selection of contemporary art from the twentieth century. The Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof collection in a separate part of the museum features paintings and sculptures by Italian, European and American artists from the post-1945 era.
In the tranquil garden of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, next to the tomb of Peggy Guggenheim, is the Nasher Sculpture Garden. Exhibits from the Guggenheim Collection and other private collections and foundations are presented here. Works by artists such as Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and Anish Kapoor can be admired here.
In the course of the enlargement, the buildings behind the garden were purchased and transformed into a sunny café, a bookstore, and additional exhibition space for the changing special exhibitions.
Admission fees to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
|Adult||18,00 €||Buy ticket online|
*The prices quoted are subject to change without notice. Always the current offer of the supplier is valid. An audio guide, also in English, can be purchased on-site for 7,00 €.
Marguerite Guggenheim, called Peggy, was born in New York on August 26, 1898. She came from one of America’s wealthiest industrialist families and was, therefore, able to afford an independent and eccentric lifestyle. She inherited her fortune from her father, who died in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
As a young woman, Peggy Guggenheim moved in the artist scenes of New York and Paris, where her interest in modern art awakened to inspire her for the rest of her life. She began collecting in Paris in 1937 and opened her first gallery in London a year later.
After fleeing from the Nazis, she founded another gallery in New York, and after returning to Europe, Palazzo Venier Dei Leoni became her new home and exhibition space. After an eventful life with several marriages, countless affairs, and adventures, Peggy Guggenheim died on 23.12.1979. She is buried next to her beloved dogs in the garden of her house in Venice.
The Guggenheim Collection is a first-class collection of modern art from the first half of the twentieth century, collected over many years by the patron of the arts. The museum has set itself the task of making this private collection accessible to the general public.
Here you will find around 200 works of art by world-famous and lesser-known artists. In the rooms of the Palazzo Venier dei Leonie, visitors are presented with trendsetting works of Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, European and American abstraction, and avant-garde sculpture. The collection includes works by some of the most famous artists of the twentieth century. Picasso is represented here as well as Georges Braque, Futurists like Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Alberto Magnelli or Gino Severini are exhibited alongside Surrealists like Jean Arp, Joseph Carwell, Salvador Dali, Alberto Giacometti, and Max Ernst.
By the way, Peggy Guggenheim was married to Max Ernst for several years. One of her many lovers and at the same time one of the most talented American painters ever, Jackson Pollock, is also represented. Works by Kandinsky, Salvador Dali, Mirò, Chagall and Paul Klee can be admired here among many others.
In addition to the personal collection, works of art that were donated to the museum by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation after the death of the founder are also exhibited. There are also several works on permanent loan from private collections in the rooms of the Palazzo.
Overall impression of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
The museum is a great experience: one can not only learn a lot about the eccentric world of the former owner, whose preference for the extraordinary is evident in many details and furnishings, the excellent exhibition gives both the layman and the art expert a deep insight into the numerous facets of artistic creation of the twentieth century.
The exhibition is beautiful and designed with great attention to detail. The unique location on the Canale Grande gives the museum a very special ambience. The generous and artistic atmosphere is not only to be found inside the house but also continues in the garden, which with a beautiful view of the water invites you to stroll and linger.
► Venice Art for all – The Peggy Guggenheim Collection participates in the ‘Venice – Art for All‘ project, which means that access is unrestricted for people with limited mobility.
► Photography – Allowed are photographs without flash and without a tripod.
► Animals – Unfortunately it is forbidden to take animals of any size or species with you.
► Museum Shop – There are two of the usual museum shops, both with many interesting books, catalogues, and articles based on the exhibition.
► Museum Café – With a view of the sculpture garden, the Museum Café offers a variety of dishes and snacks during the opening hours of the museum.
Location and Directions
Address: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro, 30123 Venezia
The museum is located on the Grand Canal between the Ponte dell’Accademia and the church of Santa Maria Della Salute.
With the Vaporetto lines 1 and 2 these are the stops Accademia or Salute.
Is a visit to the museum worthwhile?
It is no wonder that the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most visited sights in Venice.
The house alone is worth a visit, if you are interested in the life of the former owner or in art treasures of the twentieth century, you will get your money’s worth. In the high season, it is advisable to visit the museum as early as possible in the day to avoid the greatest number of visitors.
For art lovers with a feeling for eccentricity and atmosphere in the middle of one of the most romantic cities in the world, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is an absolute highlight of any visit to Venice.