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Summary

A spirited portrait of the colorful, irrepressible, and iconoclastic American collector who fearlessly advanced the cause of modern art.

One of 20th-century America's most influential patrons of the arts, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) brought to wide public attention the work of such modern masters as Jackson Pollock and Man Ray. In her time there was no stronger advocate for the groundbreaking and the avant-garde. Her midtown gallery was the acknowledged center of the postwar New York art scene, and her museum on the Grand Canal in Venice remains one of the world's great collections of modern art. Yet as renowned as she was for the art and artists she so tirelessly championed, Guggenheim was equally famous for her unconventional personal life and for her ironic, playful desire to shock.

Acclaimed best-selling author Francine Prose offers a listen of Guggenheim's life that will enthrall enthusiasts of 21st-century art as well as anyone interested in American and European culture and the interrelationships between them. The lively and insightful narrative follows Guggenheim through virtually every aspect of her extraordinary life, from her unique collecting habits and paradigm-changing discoveries to her celebrity friendships, failed marriages, and scandalous affairs. Prose delivers a colorful portrait of a defiantly uncompromising woman who maintained a powerful upper hand in a male-dominated world. She also explores the ways in which Guggenheim's image was filtered through the lens of insidious anti-Semitism.

©2015 Francine Prose (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Peggy Guggenheim

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worth a listen

An interesting account of a fascinating yet troubled woman.
very eloquently read.
it's not life changing, but very pleasant to listen to while working with my hands (usually painting or don't ceramics)

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Insightful and balanced

This complex and wild-living Peggy Guggenheim achieved great things despite many horrors along the way.

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Fascinating

Someone should do a tv series tracking her life it would be completely gripping and needs to happen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-21

Good listen

Are you looking for a short, snappy, gossipy bio? This is it. I listened to it driving through Nebraska and never dozed for a second!
Peggy Guggenheim certainly knew how to keep her life exciting.

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  • Valeriya
  • 13-01-19

Facts depictions of her life

It was good. I have not read her books written by herself by Peggy Guggenheim but this book seems to be a more precise version comprising of straight forward facts.

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  • Dr. Bill- Northern NJ-USA
  • 16-04-21

A Modern Art Advocate With a Sad Life

Tumultuous sadness and madness fueled by too much money- the art and her animals were more important than people and she described them as her babies- visiting her museum across the Grand Canal from The Gritti Palace in Venezia is always a thrill- this was her legacy- hopefully she has found more solace in death than in life

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  • Lori
  • 20-02-21

A different life

This was a challenge to listen to because Peggy was a bit icky with many life choices. The story was very interesting. The narration is excellent. It’s worth a listen if you like art and if you’re curious about art museums and how the collections are assembled. It was just a little bit difficult to listen to the dysfunctional family and romance situations

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  • A. Mujica
  • 30-01-21

Peggy Guggenheim

Fascinating story of a woman who was a major force and personality in the journey and history of contemporary art.

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  • Judith Gold
  • 21-01-21

An interesting story told well

I found this biography interesting without being lost in too much detail. A fascinating life with probably oversized influence. The biographer tries to be fair to Peggy, who has received a lot of bad press during and after her life.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-06-22

Fascinating, Fair Account of a Truly One of a Kind Woman

The subject matter here - the quirky, undeniably unique and ahead-of-her-time Ms. Guggenheim - is enough to keep the reader/listener interested. But, I was also impressed with the punchy, succinct writing style of the author, able to gently poke fun of and exalt its subject with gracious subtlety and ease.
What a wildly fascinating and amusing woman, though! I only wish I could have crossed paths with her….

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  • Uriel Dana
  • 28-01-22

Not a single, likable character

I’ve worked 38 years in the arts, sat 4 yrs art history, made extensive trips to Venice and to Peggy Guggenheims museum collection and had read some of these things about her. After this book my skin will crawl at her name and most of the artists she collected. What a low vibe group of people. A regretful book.

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  • Scott Alexander
  • 02-09-21

Juicy

Peggy Guggenheim was a true trail
Blazer. Not just with her eye for modern art but her life style was modern also. Sexually open and experimental but confined to continue to choose and marry men who abused her. She’s a strong and verbal woman who could never get over the fact that she did not think she was beautiful.

She was caught between two eras the one that let men be dominate to the point of abuse to the modern woman who is in charge and does not need a man.

This book focus on the highlights of her life snd the road acquiring her modern art collection which she oftener referred to
As her children.

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  • JLR
  • 30-08-21

very Interesting

i had not heard of Peggy. of her family yes. to be such a free spirit and supporter of the srts.