Construction on the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, along the Grand Canal in Venice, began in the 1750's and—after many fits and starts—is still under way. In 1949 renowned collector Peggy Guggenheim bought the partly finished single-story structure to house her Modernist masterpieces. But actually fitting a world-class collection of 20th-century art into a crumbling 18th-century palazzo proved to be a tricky business. Guggenheim, who died in 1979, was forever stumbling across errant visitors and requisitioning the servants' quarters for more gallery space. Last fall the Peggy Guggenheim Collection underwent a much-needed expansion, with the conversion ofan adjoining property into a sculpture court and temporary exhibition gallery. The inaugural show, "Peggy and Kiesler: The Collector and the Visionary," exploring Guggenheim's collaborations with futuristic Austrian architect Frederick Kiesler, remains on view through October. But the collection strikes a decidedly classical note with "The Era of Michelangelo: Masterpieces from the Albertina"—70 works from the golden age of drawing in Italy, including exquisite studies by Raphael, Leonardo, and a host of Mannerists. February 28-May 16.
Did you enjoy this article?Share it.