I Want Peggy Guggenheim’s Glasses

As if the wind weren’t bad enough, I woke up after my first night in Venice to snow.

Venice Fish Hostel
Venice hostel in the snow

Although picturesque from inside, I knew I would inevitably freeze my tail off. I was heading out the door for the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, when I found out two Argentinian girls were going there as well. We decided to take a long route there so we could wander the streets. The wind hadn’t picked up yet so with the snow, it really was quite beautiful. I’m pretty sure I spent half of the time with my rain jacket hood pulled so taut around my face that I lost the use of my peripheral vision. Survival instinct trumped exploration mode.  We made our way to a bridge across the Grand Canal and stopped for a photo-op.

cowboy toy in venice
Toy Makes Appearnce on Grand Canal

Victoria, one of my fellow explorer buddies, pulled out this little toy. A child from back home had given her this toy, and when she gets bored taking the same old tourist-type photo, she incorporates it into her photos. I loved the idea. Which reminds me- I’m pretty sure I brought along my Piggly Wiggly sticker that says “I’m big on the pig” for the same reason, but I have yet to pull it out. My Piggly Wiggly photo album remains empty for now :/

We then made our way to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, a must-see for modern art lovers. It is Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of 20th century art and is exhibited in her former home that sits along the Grand Canal. Peggy was a bit of character to say the least. She ran in artist circles, was married to Max Ernst at one point, and had multiple affairs that included the likes of Jackson Pollock. If you do a Google image search of her (which I did here) you will see her outlandish collection of glasses as well as an obvious affection for her dogs. She is, after all, buried next to them behind the house.

Marino Marini
Marino Marini's Angel of the City

Now back to the museum itself, the collection includes works by some of the most well known 20th century artists including Pollock, Miro, Kandinsky, Picasso, Ernst, Magritte, Dali… and the list goes on. My personal favorites were Brancusi’s Bird in Space, Calder’s headboard, and a Jackson Pollock piece. There is also a small sculpture garden outside but I only saw part of it because the snow was blowing so badly. Behind the museum facing the canal is Marino Marini’s Angel of the City. Although I probably didn’t take this photo at the best angle, let’s just say he’s had a body part reattached multiple times from people pulling it off. Marini has done several horse and rider sculptures, and the evolution of them is pretty neat.

The modern art collection here at the Guggenheim in Venice is extensive and even more impressive being that it was a personal collection. And if you, too, want a pair of Peggy Guggenheim’s glasses, make sure to pick up a pair on the way out at the gift shop. They’ll only set you back $250.

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