Guggenheim Grandkids Sue Foundation

PARIS -- Peggy Guggenheim was one of the most influential collectors of Modern art in history. She left her art collection and Venice home, as a public foundation securing the legacy of her contribution to the history of art.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network adore visiting Guggenheim's palazzo on the Grand Canal.

A bitter lawsuit has now broken out over the collection amassed by the socialite, and displayed at he home. This dispute is being heard in a Paris court, with proceedings starting this week.

The feud dates back more than 20 years and concerns the collection. It involves grandchildren of Guggenheim, who died in 1979 at the age of 81.

The Solomon Guggenheim Foundation -- based in New York -- the target of the suit, which is led by the grandchildren of the former patron. It is yet another chapter in the saga which has lead to a family feud since 1994 when the grandchildren's case was dismissed by a French judge sitting at the same Paris tribunal court.

Sandro Rumney and his half-brother Nicolas Hélion are attempting to prove that their grandmother's wishes have been ignored.

They stated in papers recently filed that the Guggenheim Foundation has exhibited 181 works at Guggenheim's Venetian villa, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which are not part of her permanent collection.

It was stated in Peggy Guggenheim's will that only work from the collection was to be displayed in the main house and works not belonging to the collection were only to be temporarily displayed in outer buildings.

In addition, complaints have been lodged that the museum's garden, which inters their grandmother's ashes next to her beloved Lhasa Apso, has been "desecrated" by receptions and other social functions.

The garden was recently renamed the "Nasher Sculpture Garden" after a donation from a Texas patron of the Solomon Guggenheim Museum. This is also something to which the grandchildren vehemently object.

The new lawsuit demands that the Nasher donation to the foundation be revoked and the name be taken off of the garden.

The powerful Guggenheim Foundation has retorted that these are "baseless allegations". It stated that the two grandchildren are "not her heirs and are not mentioned in her will".

Peggy Guggenheim Legacy

Peggy Guggenheim's estate was left to Sindbad Vail, a son from her first marriage to artist Laurence Vail, a Dada sculptor.

Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim (August 26, 1898 – December 23, 1979) was born to a wealthy New York City family, the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912, and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would go on to establish the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum.

Her mother, Florette Seligman (1870–1937), was a member of the Seligman banking family. When she turned 21 in 1919, Peggy Guggenheim inherited $2.5 million, about $34 million in today's currency.

Her father, Benjamin Guggenheim -- although a scion of the Guggenheim mining dynasty, one of the richest families of late 19th century America -- had not yet amassed the fortune of his siblings when he died; therefore, her inheritance was far less than the vast wealth of her Uncle Solomon or her cousins.

Primarily with her mother's inheritance, Peggy Guggenheim created a noted art collection in Europe and America primarily between 1938 and 1946. The American heiress bought much of the art in Paris. It includes paintings by Picasso, Ernst, Klee, Braque, Chagall, Kandinsky, Dali and Miro and Pollock. Later on, she focused on American artists.

She exhibited this collection as she built it and, in 1949, settled in Venice, where she lived and exhibited her collection for the rest of her life. Her Venice home is now one of the city's major tourist destinations.

The American heiress bought much of the art in Paris before the Second World War. It includes paintings by Picasso, Ernst, Klee, Braque, Chagall, Kandinsky, Dali and Miro and Pollock. Those works continue to be displayed in the original palazzo residence exactly as she lived with them.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video visits the Guggenheim palazzo in Venice.