An insider's look at Peggy Guggenheim: A Collection in Venice

Interview with Philip Rylands

Philip Rylands – Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

What do you think of the space?  

The AGWA’s spaces are ample, well lit, and flexible, providing vistas, differentiated spaces and making possible the ‘narrative’ that any exhibition installation should tell. In particular the circularity of the space gives the visitor the option to revisit the exhibition effortlessly even as he or she arrives at its end.

Tell me a little about your relationship with Peggy?  

My wife and I knew Peggy as an acquaintance first and a friend later. Little did she or I imagine that I would dedicate my career to her memory, her story and her collection.   

How have things been at your end these last few weeks?  

The professionalism and good nature of the AGWA staff led by Stefano Carboni and Gary Dufour were outstanding and among the  PGC’s finest experiences of partnering with other museums for the organization of exhibitions.   

What does the collection mean to you? 

Part of the history of collecting, a slice of early and mid 20th century western art, an anthology of wonderful paintings and sculptures, a testimony to a remarkable life.  

It’s an extraordinarily enjoyable exhibition with an enjoyable catalogue: about both great art and a historic person with a colourful life. This combination has placed the Peggy Guggenheim Collection among the most visited museums in Italy, and I assume not a single citizen of Perth will miss the chance to see it before it closes on January 31, 2011.

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