Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice

Musée Peggy Guggenheim à Venise

Explore the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of Venice’s most important cultural activities, with a guided tour ticket. Admire works of modern art by Picasso, Pollock and Dalí…

After losing her father on the Titanic, wealthy heiress Peggy Guggenheim became one of the great collectors of the 20th century. Her Venetian palazzo Venier dei Leoni, overlooking the Grand Canal, exhibits works of surrealist, futurist and abstract expressionist art by some 200 artists, including her ex-husband Max Ernst, as well as Jackson Pollock, Picasso, Magritte and Salvador Dalí.

An all-inclusive ticket allows you to enter this extraordinary building in Venice to retrace the tormented life of this ambitious woman, and admire the works of the greatest painters!

Collection Peggy Guggenheim à Venise

Photo credit: Flickr – Nathan Hughes Hamilton

A palace with a rich history and a beautiful museum

Niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, Peggy collected art according to her own convictions rather than for prestige or style. As a result, her collection includes works inspired by « folk art » and includes lesser-known artists such as Kandinsky, Man Ray, Rothko, Mondrian and Joseph Cornell. The great modernists also contribute to the interior decoration of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, including Calder with his silver headboard displayed in Peggy Guggenheim’s former bedroom. In the nooks and crannies of the main galleries, you’ll find photos of the rooms as they were when Peggy lived here, in fabulously eccentric style.

The Jewish-American collector narrowly escaped Paris two days before the Nazis marched on the city, arriving in Venice in 1948. Peggy became a fervent advocate of contemporary Italian art, which had largely fallen out of favor with Mussolini’s rise to power and his position on the side of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Collection Peggy Guggenheim à Venise

Photo credit: Flickr – Heather Cowper

She presented her collection at the XXIV Venice Biennale. But after the Biennale, Peggy still didn’t know where to store her paintings. So she acquired an unfinished 18th-century palazzo, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, as a venue for her own exhibition.

A museum that also gives pride of place to Italian art

Peggy Guggenheim and her museum helped revive interest in post-war Italian art and resurrect the reputation of Italy’s leading Futurists, whose style had been used to make fascism visually more « acceptable ». Its support enabled artists such as Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio Morandi, Giacomo Balla, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Giorgio de Chirico to return to the art scene, along with Venetian artists Emilio Vedova and Giuseppe Santomaso. It also offered passing gondoliers a view of a statue on its quay beside the Grand Canal: L’Angelo della Città (The Angel of the City ) by Marino Marini (1948), a male nude in bronze on horseback, and visibly excited by something on the horizon.

Statue Ange de la cité, de Marino Marini

Photo credit: Flickr – Michael Jones

The sculpture garden (Peggy’s final resting place, where her ashes were buried alongside the graves of her many dogs and not far from a tree planted by Yoko Ono) features works by such greats as Moore, Giacometti, Brancusci and Kapoor. In the gardens is a pavilion housing a café, bookshop and temporary exhibitions. Adjacent to the museum is a larger museum store, selling replicas of Peggy’s signature wing-like glasses, with the San Marco lion in the center.

Practical info

Admission to the museum is €15 (€9 for students under 26). But for €18, you’ll be entitled to a day’s guided tour of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is located between the Accademia and the church of Santa Maria della Salute. The nearest vaporetto stop is « Accademia » (vaporetto no. 1 or 2).

Musée Peggy Guggenheim à Venise

Photo credit: Flickr – Nora Lalle