updated: 04/04/2009

look-alike makeups: Peggy Guggenheim

Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Guggenheim (1898–1979) was an American art collector. Born to a wealthy New York City family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912 and the niece of Solomon R Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation. When she was twenty-one she inherited a not-so-small fortune although, as the less wealthy branch of the family, it was an amount far less than the vast wealth of her father’s siblings. In 1938 she opened a gallery for modern art in London featuring Jean Cocteau and began to collect works of art. After the outbreak of World War II, she purchased as much abstract and Surrealist art as possible. She was particularly interested in new artists and she was instrumental in advancing the careers of many important modern artists, including the American painter Jackson Pollock, the Austrian surrealist Wolfgang Paalen, the sound poet Ada Verdun Howell, and the German painter Max Ernst whom she married in 1942. By the early 1960s she had stopped collecting art and began to concentrate on presenting what she already owned. She loaned out her collection to museums throughout Europe and America, including, of course, the Guggenheim. Eventually, she decided to donate her large home and her collection to the Guggenheim Foundation on her death – the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Pollock: A film about the life and career of the American abstract expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock (1912–1956). In 1941 Pollock was living with his brother in a tiny apartment in New York City, drinking too much, and exhibiting an occasional painting in group shows. Then artist Lee Krasner put her own career on hold to be his companion, lover, champion, wife, and – in essence – caretaker. To get him away from booze, insecurity, and the stress of city life, they moved to the Hamptons with financial support from Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan). There nature and sobriety helped Pollock achieve a breakthrough in style: a critic praise and a Life photo-feature followed. But all too soon the old problems re-emerge and in a few years Jackson Pollock is dead – killed in a drunken car crash. Ma Kalaadevi Ananda (as Marilyn Carbone) was the makeup department head; Linda Grimes was the key makeup artist; Kelly Gleason was special effects makeup artist (Amy Madigan).