Read Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict by Peggy Guggenheim Online


A patron of art since the 1930s, Peggy Guggenheim, in a candid self-portrait, provides an insider's view of the early days of modern art, with revealing accounts of her eccentric wealthy family, her personal and professional relationships, and often surprising portrayals of the artists themselves. Here is a book that captures a valuable chapter in the history of modern artA patron of art since the 1930s, Peggy Guggenheim, in a candid self-portrait, provides an insider's view of the early days of modern art, with revealing accounts of her eccentric wealthy family, her personal and professional relationships, and often surprising portrayals of the artists themselves. Here is a book that captures a valuable chapter in the history of modern art, as well as the spirit of one of its greatest advocates. 13 photos....

Title : Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780233976013
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict Reviews

  • Bibliophile
    2019-03-20 10:54

    Whether you'll enjoy Peggy Guggenheim's autobiography or not depends on what you're after. If you want deep insight into her life and reflections on art, you're bound to be disappointed. If you enjoy reading about rich, eccentric bohemians gallivanting around Europe in the first half of the century, forever hunting for summer houses, you're in luck. Guggenheim is not a gifted writer, and some may find her prose off-putting. I found her laconic delivery amusing, intentional or not. Every shocking, shattering thing is presented with the same matter-of-fact tone. On her childhood: My childhood was excessively unhappy: I have no pleasant memories of any kind.On her father drowning on the Titanic: From then on we avoided the White Star Line like the plague.On her violent first husband who beat her up regularly: I was taken by the shoulders and hurled against the wall. I did not in the least relish this treatment because I was pregnant again. You get the picture. There are also many interesting, awkward and cringeworthy tidbits about famous artists and writers. Hilariously, she mentions that her editor completely rewrote the book (the first one, this is a combination of one published in the sixties and another tracking her later years) so that she had to put everything back the way it was. She does not come across well. If this is due to lack of self-awareness or not giving a damn, I couldn't tell.

  • Lavinia
    2019-02-23 11:50

    Being in the proximity of Modernism feels like a backstage pass to your favourite band's gig. Which is kind of awesome.I was quite intrigued by Peggy's life and choice of men, but I eventually arrived at the conclusion that one mustn't say too much about other people's memoirs and definitely mustn't judge based on their own value system. So there you are: if you're into Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, give it a try and don't be too harsh on her.

  • Tittirossa
    2019-02-26 12:47

    Gran bella vita ma nessuna (proprio nessuna) dote per la scrittura: sembra la lista della spesa (un po’ più noiosa). Molto autoassolutoria Peggy nella sua ricerca della felicità: non fa altro che correre di qua e di là, comprare e/o affittare case e arredarle, bere con i suoi mariti amici amanti (in combinazione variabile, a volte racchiusi in una sola persona), e dedicarsi ai suoi amati quadri. Perché, anche se ne ha mantenuti parecchi di artisti, amava più le opere di quanto stimasse gli operai. E aveva ragione: il quadro lo appendeva e lì stava, gli artisti ne facevano di ogni! E’ riuscita nell’impresa di scrivere un’autobiografia senza dire nulla di sé, se non che è stata una donna (abbastanza) libera, o almeno ci ha provato. Nello stesso periodo Wharton se ne stava a Parigi impastoiata nelle regole dell’alta società. E il caro Ernst folleggiava a Parigi. NOTA: Ho letto un po’ di commenti qua e là ed è impressionante l’acidità degli estensori nel commentare il senso artistico di Peggy, dichiarandolo nullo. Come se l’aver scoperto Pollock e sovvenzionato tutti gli altri, da Tanguy a quel cialtrone di Max Ernst non fosse un’azione più meritoria di tante chiacchere di critica artistica (e poi ci ha lasciato il Guggenheim di Venezia, pur con i “furti” perpetrati dal Gug. maggiore!).

  • Kelly Hevel
    2019-03-19 12:46

    I have mixed feeling about this book. Someone who led the life Peggy Guggenheim led, living through two wars, moving between France, Italy, England, and America, and mixing with so many well-known writers and artists has to have been an interesting person with an interesting life. And while the first half of the book kept my interest as it went on I became a bit annoyed by what started to just seem like a laundry list of events and people without much explanation or introspection. Things like, "I created a scene" and "Finally he left me because I created so many scenes". What kinds of scenes? About what? Where? When? On the plus side, there were times when her understatement and honesty made me laugh.I did finish the book because I was curious about these people and wanted to know how their lives progressed. The final chapters did rescue it somewhat; the author added them years after the initial publication to update the memoir, and they did serve to humanize her. Recommended if you are interested in the period and the personalities. Not recommended if you are looking for a great piece of writing.

  • Chuck
    2019-02-24 09:34

    Peggy Guggenheim led a rich and interesting life. Although, to her regret, her formal education did not extend beyond high school, she more than compensated for that deficiency by reading widely, traveling extensively, and immersing herself in a culture of writers and artists, many of whose careers she launched or significantly advanced. The list of her friends / acquaintances / husbands / lovers is formidable, including (to mention just a very few) Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, Jackson Pollock, John Cage, and Max Ernst.Although Peggy's surname is generally associated with extraordinary wealth, her father's early death as a passenger on the Titanic yielded an inheritance that -- while substantial -- was considerably less than the fortunes amassed by other members of the Guggenheim family. Accordingly, her occasional complaints about not having money for certain expenses may have had some justification. Even so, she accumulated an astonishing personal collection of art works many of which eventually graced her splendid home, a Venetian palazzo that is now a museum. One photo shows her standing in front of a Picasso painting, above which hangs a Calder mobile, and below which is a table supporting a Giacometti sculpture.Despite owning and managing a couple of galleries at different times (one in London and one in New York City), Peggy Guggenheim did not view art collecting primarily as a commercial enterprise; toward the end of her book she complains that "the entire art movement had become an enormous business venture. Only a few persons really cared for paintings. The rest bought them from snobbishness or to avoid taxation. . . . Painters whose work I had sold with difficulty for six hundred dollars now received twelve thousand."Guggenheim's sexual attitudes were well ahead of their time, and marriage (her own or someone else's) constituted no impediment to consummation when mutual attraction was present. If the sixties had needed a role model, she could have provided it. In her book she names the names of paramours, and offers sometimes startling reflections ("I am furious when I think of all the men who have slept with me while thinking of other men who have slept with me before."). She is also candid while describing, quite unselfconsciously, episodes of physical abuse that she endured from several partners -- one sphere in which wealth evidently affords no differentiation from what ordinary people experience.Unfortunately, the life of this fascinating and multi-faceted woman deserves a much better account than she herself has written. Out of This Century, which is actually a combination of two originally-separate works, is a dutiful chronology, based apparently on diary entries, but the prose is one-dimensional and generally boring. Moreover, the book is padded with material that adds nothing of interest or substance. The following, not-atypical passage illustrates both deficiencies: "Here I gave a lot of dinner parties. I cooked the dinners myself with the help of Fanny, Mary's maid, who came to me daily. Nellie hated my home, she said there was no place to hang pictures. Nevertheless I managed to place all the smaller ones. The big ones had to remain in storage, where I could see then whenever I wanted."Lacking a capable editor, Out of This Century is perhaps best approached by perusing the index for interesting entries (of which there are many) and jumping right to those pages. That will catch the main themes while avoiding a lot of tedium.

  • Micol
    2019-02-28 12:42

    Peggy Guggenheim is no doubt a fascinating person who lived an amazingly interesting life. I loved hearing about her relationships with famous artists and all the drama in her life (there is an extreme abundance of drama). It started to get a bit gossipy to me and I rolled my eyes quite a bit at the immature and bad behavior (which is a lot). I'm glad I read it. It could use some editing.

  • Sara
    2019-02-25 10:36

    Me he debatido, durante un tiempo, el darle las dos o las tres estrellas, y pese a que tengo razones para darle el aprobado tengo otras que no me lo permiten. Como acercamiento al arte moderno cuando como yo, se tienen conocimientos prácticamente nulos, es, digamos, adecuado, para un pequeño, muy pequeño acercamiento. Pero sin embargo, confieso que a pesar de que al final me ha aportado alguna que otra cosilla, sino fuera porque lo tengo que leer para clase, no habría pasado de la segunda página. Los dos primeros capítulos me parecen absolutamente despreciables, y siento la palabra pero son problemas de buergueses respecto a fortunas, joyas, matrimonios de conveniencia, etc. Después la cosa se pone interesante, de Peggy se podría decir que es una mujer insulsa y superficial con una vida interesante, pues a pesar de todo la impresión final que me he llevado ha seguido siendo la inicial: una mujer sumamente superficial a la que sin embargo la gusta el arte y que tiene una facilidad extrema para relacionarse con gente interesante (esto claro, se explica por su condición social y la familia de la que proviene, mucho más, creo yo, que por sí misma)Me he encontrado con algunos puntos interesantes como la relación que mantuvo con Sammuel Beckett, de la cual no tenía conocimiento y que me ha llevado a otras averiguaciones bastante interesantes. Más allá de eso, me parece que pese a que sí habla del arte este siempre está diluido en sus amoríos y demás cosas que personalmente no me interesaban en absoluto.

  • Darya Conmigo
    2019-03-10 06:34

    Such an entertaining and lively read. What I love is the tone where every objective difficulty (such as, ahem, World War II) is either an adventure or a silly thing that keeps Peggy from opening yet another gallery or organizing the next show. Art in the broad sense is what matters the most.You can read it as a gossip column about the artists and art of the century (pun intended). And you will be right. Or you can read it as an account of an extraordinary human life. And you will be right, undoubtedly.

  • Susan
    2019-03-09 11:47

    I've visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice 3 times over the pass 15 years! I think its one of my favourite museums. So its easy to say I admire Peggy, the museum and her love for collecting art. So I finally read her book after visiting the museum in the summer of 2014 and I could not put the book down! I was in awe of her luxurious life - not always in a good way though - she was very rich, had no boundaries, naive and spoiled - at the same time very giving. She was a rebel. It was intriguing to read about her sexual appetite and her group of 'artist' friends. However, she did amazing work for the art world and helped so many artist such as Max Ernest, Jackson Pollock and other abstract and Surrealism artist from the 20th century. I think she deserves credit just for that itself, considering this was between the 1920's-1950's. And thanks to her museum collection, she was the one to introduce me to surrealism, Max Ernest at the age of 19 years old. Further, it was great reading about her travels, adventures through Europe, specially if you've been around, France, Switzerland, Italy and so on, though how the roads and scenery must of been back then, before WWIl...Worth reading it you're an art lover (20th century art) and travelling to Venice!

  • Mathieu Ravier
    2019-03-03 08:56

    This at first reads - irritatingly - like the diary of a rich spoilt brat, and Peggy Guggenheim's behaviour (think drinking champagne at cafe terraces while refugees stream into Paris fleeing the nazis) is at times shocking. At the same time this obsession with personal freedom makes her a subversive figure. Going against the expectations imposed on women in the 30s and 40s, she forged her own path (and yes, the money helped a great deal). This autobiography, written mostly in the 40s (with postscripts in 1960 and again just before her death in 1979), is highly entertaining and somehow devoid of pretension. This latter quality goes a long way towards excusing the rather pedestrian prose. But what a life! Her contribution to modern art is staggering, as a dealer and collector and a champion of artists (she discovered Jackson Pollock and , arguably, Lucien Freud). With lovers like Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp, and friends like Truman Capote, Andre Breton, Man Ray and Joseph Losey, the juicy anecdotes keep coming. What makes this book special is that these accounts of the colourful lives of expat or refugee artists in 1940s France were written in the thick of it, without the full benefit of historical hindsight.

  • Kate Lawrence
    2019-03-09 05:52

    During WWI, while still in her teens, Guggenheim inherited $450,000--a LOT of money at the time.Given that she knew and supported many famous artists, traveled widely, and lived a highly unconventional life, her recounting of it is understated, somewhat detached, as though she doesn't expect it to be particularly interesting to readers. She deeply grieved some major losses: of her father on the Titanic, a long-time lover due to medical incompetence, and a friend in a car accident. The lasting loves of her life were her Lhasa dogs, her home in Venice, and of course collecting modern art, which left a priceless legacy for future generations.I also watched the 2015 documentary "Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict" which I liked better than the book.

  • Allie
    2019-02-22 12:49

    Peggy Guggenheim had a fascinating life, and this, her autobiography is a quick and entertaining read, filled with interesting anecdotes about her artist friends, including Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, and many others. Her collection and her palazzo in Venice is one of my favorite places in Europe and so I really enjoyed reading more about it. She is important part of the history of 20th century art.

  • Ana Cretiu
    2019-03-07 10:37

    Inspiring, on a personal level.

  • Mădă
    2019-03-12 11:33

    Recenzie :

  • DanDumitrescu
    2019-03-10 07:53

    It's interesting to know how the modern art of the XX century got support from a "poor" jewish lady from two very rich and well connected families. Maybe Jackson Pollock own's her his success and other american artists their mischance.But I would not rely on her art authority as she explain in the book that among all the seven tragedies of her life some were that she didn't bought a Miro or a Picasso when they where cheap, that she sold a Kandinsky because her friends told her that that painting is was not "de bon ton" and the most fascinating of all her tragedies is that she gave away 18 painting of Pollock, which for me it raises questions about how much she really appreciated him.

  • Gail
    2019-02-25 08:59

    I abandoned, rather than 'finished' this book, which is a rare thing for me to do but the juvenile naivety of the writing was like gall to my brain! I have a deep fascination with the art world, with the way art collections are personally curated and I love the Guggenheim legacy but not even that passion could drive me to carry on reading. I'll get a more objective biography next time ... this one just didn't cut it.

  • Marieke Van dam
    2019-03-06 12:54

    It's an entertaining and fun read. Especially when simultaneously googling images of the art and artists Peggy Guggenheim tells about. It is filled with interesting anecdotes about her art collecting adventures. On the other hand I missed the inner life of her. But I guess that's not really the point of this book.

  • Maddelline
    2019-03-09 07:59

    Este o perspectivă romantică asupra vieții unei femei care iubea arta într-o perioadă în care războiul era la modă. Cartea descrie viața ei în funcție de artiștii pe care i-a întâlnit, de expozițiile pe care le-a făcut și de iubirile ei, cu toate că a trăit prin două războaie mondiale și multe alte dificultăți.

  • Jane Blochwitz
    2019-03-06 10:00

    Fun at first, but it's a very shallow "confession" with lots of name-dropping. My take-away from this book is that she had lots of fun with Art and Artists and was terribly disappointed/disheartened by the way Art became a big money investment to many people, and, thus, lost its soul. The Gore Vidal introduction is worth reading. I rather wish he had wrote the whole book.

  • Raluca
    2019-03-08 11:56

    A nice read about modern art. It gives an insight into the life and collection of Peggy Guggenheim.

  • El
    2019-03-17 11:51

    Peggy Guggenheim came from a privileged background, and at an early age acquired a small fortune (her father died in the sinking of the Titanic, though I can't say I remember him from the movie, har-har). Over time she used this (and more!) money to open a gallery in London in the Thirties. She had shows for a lot of big names (Cocteau, Arp) and even married one of them (Max Ernst). Through the help of all these big names in art, Guggenheim grew to understand and appreciate painting, particularly of the Surrealist and Cubist styles. She was one of those highly attractive and rich women of the time, knew all the right people, made all the right artistic and financial decisions, and had all the right kinds of affairs. So I wanted some juice here. I wanted the freaking pulp.Alas, Peggy's lips were relatively sealed. There's little gossip here. She talks at one point about Ernst's previous wife, Leonora Carrington, and how her relationship with Ernst behind Leonora's back probably-sort-of-likely contributed to Leonora's breakdown. She talks about a relationship with Samuel Beckett and some other dudes, but it was all pretty sanitized. Boo. Having just read Dorothea Tanning's Between Lives: An Artist and Her World, I knew Tanning came into the picture during Ernst's marriage to Guggenheim. Peggy does mention it in her own book, referring to the relationship she witnessed brewing between Ernst and Tanning: "This was destined to end our marriage."There are some photographic inserts, again in black and white, though more forgivable than Tanning's book considering hers was published in the 21st century while Guggenheim's book was published in 1960 and color printers were not quite all the rage they are today. In any case, a quick read, somewhat enjoyable. She wasn't an artist herself, but she could appreciate fine art, and that's commendable in and of itself.Plus, she was a dog-lover and was actually buried next to a plaque listing her lost dog-loves. That's pretty cool.

  • Marshall
    2019-02-24 08:43

    If anyone wants to read a book on Peggy Guggenheim, this is it. She was a remarkable figure, drifting after her father went down on the Titanic with his mistress, finally settling in Europe during the roaring 20s.Peggy was attracted not so much to the Lost Generation as she was to the Surrealists and her taste in art was formed through the unlikely combination of influences, Bernard Berenson and Marcel Duchamp. By a series of unfortunate events, to include WWII, she managed to acquire one of the great collections of art of the 20th century. Peggy Guggenheim spent the war years in New York, unhappily married to the painter Max Ernst and happily running the influential gallery Out of this Century which was as much a funhouse as it was a business. Into this enterprise was fostered the abstract expressionist movement. Peggy Guggenheim discovered Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell. After the war, Peggy decamped to Venice, where she established her world famous museum. Along with the museum and its collection, Peggy Guggenheim's most enduring and satisfying relationship was with the city of Venice itself. Along with art, Peggy Guggenheim also devotes a great deal of time to her many love affairs with the intelligentsia of Europe in the interwar period, to include the likes of Samuel Beckett. While the initial publication of these memoirs scandalized the American press and the Guggenheim family (Peggy jokes that the family hired people to buy up copies of her book to protect the family name), she comes across as throughly human and modern. In most biographies, Peggy Guggenheim comes across as somewhat joyless. However, here in her own words, she seems thoroughly enchanted with her life and rightly so. Any woman who could through parties with a guest list that included Gypsy Rose Lee and Andre Bretton, probably was a fun person, whose appetite for life is obscured by biographers who aren't.Ultimately what comes across is Peggy's joy as a collector, be it an Arp sculpture or a Pollock mural. This is the story of someone who lost her father in a tragic event, was never able to sustain a long term relationship, but found joy in what became a famous collection and in her adopted home of Venice.

  • Tim Schneider
    2019-03-22 06:01

    In the hook of Vampire Weekend's "Taxicab," Ezra Koenig sings, "In the shadow of your first attack / I was questioning and looking back / you said 'Baby, we don't speak of that' / like a real aristocrat." I thought of this line over and over again over the course of Peggy Guggenheim's memoir. By almost any account, she lived a fascinating and unique life. Yet "Confessions of an Art Addict" reads more like a detached list of events than a story, let alone a candid reckoning with the turning points and defining choices of one's life at the end. As an example, I believe Guggenheim spends three paragraphs discussing the antics of her dogs and a grand total of two paragraphs combined discussing the ends of her two marriages. Her terse treatment is even more surprising in the case of the second marriage, to Surrealist icon Max Ernst, whom Guggenheim lost to Leonora Carrington, a painter that she collected and championed. (In fact, it was through Guggenheim that Ernst met Carrington.) But Guggenheim never unpacks the experience or the emotions involved. She simply moves on to the next jolly anecdote about her art-centric international lifestyle. And that's a real shame, because Guggenheim undeniably changed art history through her support of modern art in a world resistant to the movement. She opened two iconic avant-garde galleries: Guggenheim Jeune in London and Art of This Century in New York. She escaped the Nazi invasion of Europe while living as a well-known Jewish woman in Paris, even managing to save her collection by stripping her paintings off the stretchers and packing them all into 1 meter of space in an acquaintances's barn. She effectively made Jackson Pollock's career before abandoning the US and becoming one of Venice's greatest arts patrons. Nevertheless, again and again, her bloodless recounting of these events couldn't keep me awake.If you're a fine arts enthusiast, Guggenheim's story is well worth knowing. But ironically, despite her reputation for speaking freely, I would recommend that you get that story from someone other than Guggenheim herself.

  • Elena
    2019-03-20 07:01

    I've heard all the rumors and was very intrigued to read this autobiography. Well, none of my questions were really answered. Guggenhiem seemed to have a very emotional coldness about her. She enjoyed writing about all the famous artists she spent her time with, but she omitted a lot about her family and personal life. Yet she had no problem talking about losing her virginity. The only thing I really got out of this book was that she was a wealthy, privileged lady, who with the help of some very famous artists, created an outstanding collection of art. The End. She failed to discuss so many of the taboos in her life. Example: She talks about having fallen in love with Max Ernst, and eventually marring him. But he was married to Leonora Carrington at the time, this eventually triggered her to have a terrible breakdown and was eventually committed. Only later in the book does Guggenhiem mention Carrington's name, as a worthy Mexican artist. That's it. So, if you are looking for some good juice, you will not find it in this book. It is funny to hear Peggy's style of writing though, she seems VERY pleased with herself.

  • Tina Badley
    2019-03-24 05:40

    A fascinating book but she's not a fluent writer.

  • Patricia Mauerhofer
    2019-03-07 10:37

    I am sorry to say, but this is the worst prose I've read during the last 10 years I'm afraid. I have admired this lady and her amazing museum in Venice is one of my favorite museums in the world for many years and wanted to read her biography for a long time. I still admire her for her courage to go after what she wanted, transgress tradition and rules imposed by society and the precursor role she had in bringing modern art and expressionism to Europe.But I really expected more depth, more intellectual wit, more reflection and educated taste instead of stumbling with her from one bed story to the next, from one party to the other and from one holiday to the next hedonistic adventure.I give the second star only because I got a glimpse into the life and personality of people whose art I admire like Constantin Brancusi, Samuel Beckett and Max Ernst.

  • Alexandra Lagerwey
    2019-03-09 06:53

    As crazy and mad as Peggy herself must have been. The memoirs are a complete mess, but somehow still wonderfully endearing. The writing isn't much, however I did get a sense of Peggy, how she must have spoke and how she must have lived.Her life is enviable. Enough money to do as she pleased, swanning about Europe, London, New York - each time with a different lover or husband. Her life wasn't dull and I wished to sit in the cafes and galleries with her, talking until 4am about art and life and all her different men.At times a difficult read, bogged down in names and events and occasions (and SCENES! So many scenes!), but always charming and unique. Much like Peggy Guggenheim must have been.

  • Jeanne
    2019-02-23 06:49

    An entertaining but rather long memoir of the art collector Peggy Guggenheim. I found the first 3/4 of the book most interesting as she details her various love affairs as well as her blossoming fascination with modern art and the many artists she met and befriended. The last section of the book is dry and is more like a log of the later events of her life; indeed, she wrote it at a different point in her life. However, the stories of her Bohemian adventures are great and pretty incredible considering the Victorian attitude that prevailed in her early life. Wild parties, numerous love affairs, untimely deaths, provocative art, enclaves of expats and wealthy bohemians in Europe - that is the meat of this book.

  • Stephen
    2019-03-13 04:33

    This memoir shows an art scene amidst turmoil and fragmentation, during a time of cultural and political clashing, told by a privately wealthy philanthropist, not altogether naive of her surroundings, but perhaps aluff to some of it. She is a great name in the biographies of the Surrealists, a catalyst to their popularity and promotion. As an American heiress, she was able to save a point in European art, along with others, for the world. An enjoyable read of a woman who was full of whimsy and wonder, touring her past.I have some reserves about her final notions of genius skipping decades and that the 20th century could produce no more, for genius is all around, but the distractions of the past pervade the senses and the supporters.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-11 04:46

    This book is just too poorly written to warrant a higher rating. For someone who lived such an amazing life, living in USA, France, England and Italy and having associated with some amazing people like Ernst, Pollock, Rothko and Capote, you'd think she would have hired someone to write her memoir to give her life justice. She offers no detail, introspection, or reflection. It's a superficial account of what she did. Furthermore, there is no evidence she knew the first thing about art, its composition, or its elements. She lived her life wanting validation and she sought it by indulging artists. She says she couldn't deny these men she sponsored. I'd love to hear their account of how they took advantage of her insecurities. I did love that she called Chicago provincial. So true.