Peggy Guggenheim’s Heirs Sue the Guggenheim Foundation

Seven descendants of Peggy Guggenheim have filled a lawsuit against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, arguing that the Foundation has violated the terms of her bequest conditions. Because of the claimed violations, the group is asking for the removal of the collection from the Foundation.

The collection is a who’s-who of modern artist’s biggest names and includes works by Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Georges Braque, and Marcel Duchamp, to name just a few.

The plaintiffs argue that all work donated by Peggy Guggenheim should stay in the heiress’s former home at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (pictured), and all subsequently donated works be housed in a nearby palace. The disagreement began in 2012 when her works were removed and placed in storage to make room for works donated by Rudolph and Hannelore Schulhof.

Sindbad Rumney, great-grandson of Peggy Guggenheim and one of the plaintiffs, also argues that the Foundation has desecrated Guggenheim’s grave site by using it for commercial purposes. He asserts that the Foundation is currently displaying donated works by Raymond and Patsy Nasher on the site, has rented it out to host parties, and has used it to solicit philanthropic donations.

The Foundation has dismissed the charges, and in a statement cited a previous 1994 French court ruling that there are no conditions associated with Peggy Guggenheim’s gift. A hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled for May 21st in a Pairs court.

David Lagaccia

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