Peggy Guggenheim’s Grandson Loses Another Appeal Against the Guggenheim Foundation

Are Peggy Guggenheim's last wishes being disrespected? Her relatives think so.

Peggy Guggenheim for Look magazine (1966). Photo: by Tony Vaccaro.
Peggy Guggenheim for Look magazine (1966). Photo: by Tony Vaccaro.

A group of relatives of heiress, art collector, and patron Peggy Guggenheim have lost yet another appeal at a French court against the Guggenheim Foundation.

The latest verdict is merely another chapter in the bitter legal battle over the management of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice, which began more than 20 years ago.

A group of Peggy’s relatives, led by her grandson Sandro Rumney, have been fighting since 1994 to gain control over the management of her phenomenal collection of 326 artworks—including pieces by Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí—which the heiress handed over to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York in 1979, shortly before her death.

Peggy Guggenheim with her children Sindbad et Pegeen in 1934<br>Photo: via Pinterest

Peggy Guggenheim with her children Sindbad and Pegeen in 1934.
Photo: via Pinterest

For decades now, Rumney—son of Pegeen Vail, daughter of Peggy Guggeheim,—has been arguing that the collection is not “protected” and that it should be restored to its original configuration, “respecting the wishes of Peggy Guggenheim to see the collection intact.”

Their main bone of contention is that works from other collections are also being displayed at the palazzo.

In 2013, experts hired by Rumney found that the display in the palazzo contained 94 pieces from the Peggy Guggenheim collection and 75 works from the Rudolph B. and Hannelore B. Schulhof collection. Moreover, that same year, a plaque in the museum’s entrance featuring the names of the Schulhofs was installed next to the name of the museum’s founder.

The names of two donors are displayed on the facade of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. Photo: Laia Abril, courtesy the New York Times.

The names of two donors are displayed on the facade of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.
Photo: Laia Abril Courtesy the New York Times.

The latest court decision marks Rumney’s third failed attempt to seize control of the collection, adding to previous dismissals in 1994 and 2014.

The Guggenheim Foundation has released a celebratory statement saying it is “proud of having honored the wishes of Peggy Guggenheim for more than 30 years, by keeping her collection intact in the restored Palazzo museum and by contributing to the knowledge of modern and contemporary art in Italy,” AFP reports.

Peggy Guggenheim.

Peggy Guggenheim lounging on her bed with Calder headboard behind.

Related stories:

Peggy Guggenheim Heirs Sue Guggenheim Foundation To Stop Outside Shows at Venice Palazzo

Peggy Guggenheim Descendants’ Suit Against Foundation Dismissed

Peggy Guggenheim’s Other Descendants Denounce Lawsuit

Have Peggy Guggenheim’s Descendants Violated Her Wishes?

Peggy Guggenheim Documentary by Lisa Immordino-Vreeland Reveals Life of Nonstop Art and Sex


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