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Art Lover

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Peggy Guggenheim's allure lingers, even more than 20 years after her death. Astute in her assessment and forceful in her support of 20th-century artists, she helped promote the work of a variety of individuals and had a taste that ranged from Picasso to Pollack. The art collection that she amassed is on public display in her Venetian palazzo. On the personal level, she was an enigmatic mix of the glittering and the scandalous. A New Yorker by birth, she spent most of her time in Europe, where her socially engaged lifestyle attracted those who provided her with an awareness of art, literature, and life Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Djuna Barnes, and numerous others. In addition, her private life was nothing short of outrageous; her marriages, particularly to Laurence Vail, and her formidable succession of lovers resulted in notoriety among her contemporaries and certainly make for interesting reading today. This complex woman also had her unappealing side her two children suffered from lack of attention and, despite significant wealth, stories of her miserly habits abounded. Gill (The Journey Back from Hell: Conversations with Concentration Camp Survivors) has done extensive research and presents both the art patron and the woman candidly, as befits an individual of her unique character, impact, and event-strewn life. A captivating read about a captivating subject, this intelligent work enriches our knowledge of Guggenheim and the world she lived in. A definite asset for circulating libraries and large arts/humanities collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/01.] Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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