Synopses & Reviews
Peggy Guggenheim emerges in Mistress of Modernism as the ultimate self-invented woman, a cultural mover and shaker who broke away from her poor-little-rich-girl origins to shape a life for herself as the enfant terrible of the art world. Peggy's visionary Art of This Century gallery in New York, which brought together the European surrealist artists with the American abstract expressionists, was an epoch-shaking "happening" at the center of its time.
Dearborn's unprecedented access to the Guggenheim family, friends, and papers contributes rich insight to Peggy's traumatic childhood in German-Jewish "Our Crowd" New York, her self-education in the ways of art and artists, her caustic battles with other art-collecting Guggenheims, and her legendary sexual appetites: her lovers included Max Ernst, Samuel Beckett, and Marcel Duchamp, to name a mere few. Here too is a poignant portrait of Peggy's last years as l'ultima dogaressa -- the last duchess -- in her palazzo in Venice, where her collection still draws thousands of visitors every year.
Mistress of Modernism is the first definitive biography of a woman whose wit, passion, and provocative legacy come compellingly to life.
Dearborn's unprecedented access to Guggenheim's family, friends, and papers contributes rich insight to her traumatic childhood in New York, her self-education in the ways of art and artists, her battles with other art-collecting Guggenheims, and her legendary sexual appetites.
About the Author
Mary V. Dearborn is the author of MAILER: A BIOGRAPHY, as well as biographies of Henry Miller, John Dewey and Anzia Yezierska, and Louise Bryant. Dearborn holds a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. Dearborn currently resides in New York.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xiii
1. Fortunes and Family 9 2. Changes,Taking Leave 25 3. The King of Bohemia 39 4. The Heiress and the Anarchist 60 5. Mr. and Mrs. Bonzo 79 6. Endings and Beginnings 95 7. An Idea 109 8. A New Life 124 9. Out of the Gate 137 10. The Beginnings of War: The Best-Laid Plans 153 11. On the Run 166 12. The States 180 13. and#147;When Art Wore a Roseand#8221;: Highs and Lows 200 14. Two Stories: Pollock and Pegeen 216 15. Making a Mark 230 16. Becoming a Legend 249 17. A Last Stand 262 18. What Remains 278 19. Last Days 297
and#147;Art of This Century Inventoryand#8221; 317 Notes 323 Selected Bibliography 359 Index 364