Peggy Guggenheim During World War II: Preserving a Generation of Art

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

  • Research & Collections Center, Springfield

Fee: 

Free, Donations Appreciated

Brown Bag Program presented by presenter Meghan Ruyle Illinois State Museum IC intern Summer 2018

The Jewish-American art collector Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim, self-appointed “Midwife to Modern Art,” collected many modern artworks of her time that are now considered foundational to the mid-nineteenth century Avant-Garde Art Movement. This talk directs attention to the duration of time Guggenheim spent in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, when she unyieldingly committed herself to saving many acclaimed modern artworks and artists from the perils of war. Without Guggenheim’s zealous commitment to this task, modern artworks like the Bird in Space and artists like Ernst may have disappeared into obscurity. The aforementioned circumstance necessitates the question, “Would modern art be what it is today if not for Guggenheim’s selfless intervention during World War II?”

Meghan Ruyle is a recent graduate of Illinois College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art, with a concentration in art history and a minor in history. While at Illinois College, Meghan interned at the Springfield Art Association, the Governor Joseph Duncan Mansion, and the Illinois State Museum. This past year, she has presented her research project entitled “Peggy Guggenheim during World War II: Preserving a Generation of Art” at the Annual College Art Association Conference in New York City, at the Annual Clement S. Stacy Undergraduate Research Conference at Purdue Northwest University, and at the Celebration of Excellence at Illinois College. In the fall, she has accepted an offer from the University of Alabama Graduate School to study modern and contemporary art and museum studies and to work as a teaching assistant.

Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. Brown Bag Lectures are held at the ISM Research & Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. The Collections Center must be accessed from the new gate on Ash St. and approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets. For additional information, please contact events@illinoisstatemuseum.org or (217) 558-6696.

Photo Credit  Peggy Guggenheim Collection

 

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