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

Archive for November, 2010

Baby, it’s hot outside

I write to you from the air conditioned comfort of the Guggenheim shop, as guided tours and school groups take their time in the exhibition space. Half an hour into the day and I’ve already heard people saying this is their second or third visit, which we love to hear. I just met a couple who flew over from Sydney especially for the exhibition, and they said it was worth every penny. You can purchase a multi-entry pass (for unlimited entry) for $55. If you’ve been through the exhibition with a standard ticket and you want to visit again, pop over to the ticketing desk and pay the difference to upgrade to a multi-entry pass (this can only be claimed on the day of your visit).

Be sure to take a wander through our lovely shop for Christmas gifts, souvenirs and a little something for yourself. We have authentic venetian masks, an extensive range of art books, a full colour catalogue (now only $29.95), postcards, comfy limited edition Guggenheim shirts, quirky Felicity Peters jewellery, designer sunglasses, Kiesler furniture and a whole lot more.

We’re estimating crowds and queues in January, so get in quick to avoid the last-minute rush (and enjoy the aircon).

— Tegan the Intern

One glorious Sunday…

Buon giorno!

Thank you to those who came to the Gallery on Sunday to make our Italian Festival Day truly extraordinary. It was great to see so many families enjoying the activities, and queuing up to see Peggy Guggenheim: A Collection in Venice. The concourse was filled with music and face painting, there were some spectacular masks made by children in the Centenary Gallery, and we enjoyed some lovely stories from Jenni Hill.

Outside was a sea of blue helium balloons, with cheers from the Bocce crowd and delicious smells wafting from the terrace. Inside the Pollock Pong tent, it was all-out war as cousins, friends and siblings played ping pong with paint (which sometimes turned into a very colourful and violent game of dodgeball). I hobbled home through the train station covered in paint, with blue balloon-stained hands and music in my ears.



November and December are jam-packed with youth art activities to get you off the couch during the Summer break. The closing date for the Youth Photography Awards is fast approching! Enter for the chance to win an Art Gallery gift shop voucher valued at $150, and to follow the Art Gallery photographer for a day and learn all about the skills and techniques of photographing art work.

We’re also running a series of screenprinting and aerosol art workshops in conjunction with Propel Arts, where you can learn new skills and create your own masterpieces, inspired by the colourful abstract works in Peggy Guggenheim: A Collection in Venice.

Summer’s heating up at the Art Gallery of WA!

— Tegan the Intern

Introducing: Aston the Venice Intern!

As the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is currently being devoured and enjoyed by the Perth public, my thoughts have been diverted recently – actually, if we’re being honest there has been a fairly dedicated lead up – to what remains in Venice’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni; the permanent home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  I am here – your Italo-Aussie correspondent/Guggenheim Intern – and I am not disappointed. This is Week 1 and, as I wade my way through masses of French and American tourists and the swiftly rising water levels, I am digesting my new reality for the next 2 months.


Venice is a special kind of place. It asks a certain level of understanding of its visitors, a healthy amount of dedication and cannot help but evoke a multitude of new perspectives in those who cross numerous lagoons and canals to experience it. Venice is multidimensional. Certainly, there is a lot to feast your eyes on. Yet, amongst the colossal history embedded in this small island, Venice has always found room for the new. It is only fitting then, that this is where we should find one of the finest museums of modern art in the world.


Interesting Observation #1: This may possibly be the only museum in the world that accepts, rather, encourages staff to wear Wellington boots to work. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of floating down the narrow streets during Autumn and Winter, November in Venice = flooding.


Interesting Observation # 2: Venice is beautiful; Venice is not practical. Luckily, having visited a number of times before, this was no surprise to me. This foresight however has not aided me at all in my battle with 20-something kgs of luggage, the occasional (but more often absent) labyrinthine street signs and many many stairs. I am happy to now report the logistical component of my expedition is behind me, at least until January when I have to repeat the process and leave. What is in front of me is 110% Collezione Peggy Guggheim. I am one of 8 interns who have arrived from around the world in order to dedicate two months to studying, observing and researching this collection of Cubist, Abstract and Surrealist works which are the legacy of pioneer collector Peggy Guggenheim.


I am originally from Perth. Until late last year, I was also a staff member at AGWA, and vividly recall that time not so long ago when the idea of exhibiting works from the Guggenheim Collection was in its ‘fingers firmly crossed’ phase. Since then I have been working in Collections Management and now live and work in Melbourne. Even from a distance, I have eagerly awaited the arrival of this exhibition with the rest of you. Though I will be a Venetian resident (no complaints!) for the duration of the exhibition, I do hope to contribute to your Guggenheim experience in the West with updates from the winding depths of a magical place called Venice, home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.


Ciao for now,



Fun for the family this Sunday!

Nothing to do this Sunday? Well, here are your plans! This special event has something for everyone – come enjoy the sunshine in the heart of Perth, and pay a visit to Peggy Guggenheim: A Collection in Venice.

I’ve been working in the upstairs shop over the past couple of weeks, and it’s been great to hear feedback from visitors straight out of the exhibition. We’ve had locals and people from all over the world – including those who have been to the Guggenheim Museum in Venice – coming to see it, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The Italian merchandise has been a hit, particularly the whacky kaleidoscope looking glasses. We’ve just received a special delivery of Gallery-exclusive shirts, available in sizes 10 to XL.


Don’t leave it to January to see the show, because I can guarantee that one visit will not be enough! We’ll see you on Sunday at the Italian Festival Day.



– Tegan the Intern