Peggy Guggenheim Collection


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, located on the Gran Canal in Venice, is a museum of modern and contemporary art created by the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim (1878-1979). It was inaugurated in 1980 and presents Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of 20th century art as well as temporary exhibitions. It is the wholly-owned Italian branch of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Its mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, and to collect, conserve, and study the art of our time. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection welcomes around 400,000 annual visitors. Its dedication to the conservation of the works of art housed in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is based on the recognition of their value and the desire to pass them on to future generations. The Department of Conservation is responsible for the assessment and development of the collection’s protection and preservation policies. It performs restoration work on paintings, sculptures and works on paper in the museum collection. It is also engaged in research on works in the collection in response to the need for a more profound understanding of the new materials used in Twentieth century art.

Key Persons

Luciano Pensabene is a Cultural institution consultant—Italian, European, and American. Main focuses: conservation, protection, and preservation of modern and contemporary art collections. Since 2012 he served as the conservator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. He directs the museum’s conservation program by identifying and prioritizing departmental projects, conducting and supervising research and treatment on the works in the collection. He manages the conservation of artworks for loan and for the exhibitions program and establishes the procedures for safe travel, installation and storage. For the Guggenheim Foundation before his position at the PGC he was a Conservator Fellow at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. He is a visiting professor in contemporary art conservation for the graduate school of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (OPD, Florence), and played in the same institution a significant role in the academic staff of the postgraduate program on Conservation of Contemporary Art, the first certified Masters course by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Currently, he co-directs a cross-continental project between the USA and Italy (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Opificio delle Pietre Dure, MOLAB- Universita? di Perugia), based on the scientific research and conservation of works by Jackson Pollock, where he working on the cleaning of Alchemy, a painting-icon from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. He has conducted the research project and led the conservation treatment of paintings from the early modern period in the Guggenheim Founding Collection. Signature works treated by Pensabene Buemi include paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, Joan Miro?, and Vasily Kandinsky. He is a conservation expert on Picasso’s oeuvre. In addition to the work he has taken up for the Guggenheim Foundation, he has also led treatment on paintings for the Picasso family collections, including his masterpiece Olga a la mantille, 1917. In France he has collaborated with the team of conservers on the treatment for the La de?pouille de Minotaure en costume d’Arlequin, a large stage backdrop realised for "le 14 juillet", a play by Romain Rolland performed at Le the?atre du peuple the 14th of July 1936. For Museo Picasso in Malaga, he has done a complete evaluation on the conservational state of the entire collection, executing all of the necessary treatments before the inauguration of the new Museum.