In 1969, the Guggenheim Museum hosted the exhibition Works from the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation. The exhibition, which was the first time Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection had been exhibited in the United States, showcased artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy. In this interview, Hilary Brown, who was the museum’s head of publicity, speaks with Peggy on her interest in modern art, how she began collecting, and her relationships with artists. Peggy explains that it was Samuel Beckett who convinced her to discover modern art: it was her moral duty to be interested in the art of one’s time. She also relates how Jean Arp began her love for collecting when he took her to his foundry, where she held his work in her hand and instantly learned what it was to love art.
When asked by Hilary about the future of the collection, Peggy simply replied that “some museum or university will have to look after it.” The Peggy Guggenheim Collection became part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation collection ten years later in 1979.