5 Objects in the Archives

Posted on March 4, 2014

Clyfford Still and The Art of This Century Gallery

Kate Landers, Digital Imaging Assistant

Last summer I had the privilege of visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. The experience situated Guggenheim’s palazzo as one of my favorite museums (other than the Clyfford Still Museum, of course!), and intensified my interest in modern art, as well as Guggenheim’s status as a collector.

So when I began processing the photo collection for the CSM Archives shortly after my return, I was astonished to come across original photographs of Guggenheim posing with Still’s work at her Art of This Century Gallery.

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In 1946, Still exhibited twelve paintings at the gallery, as well as a portfolio of oils on paper. Among these works was PH-298, which André Breton, the founder of Surrealism, urged Guggenheim to acquire for her collection. Still eventually gifted the painting to the San Francisco Museum of Art and Guggenheim purchased PH-739 instead. Both paintings appear side by side in the photograph below (PH-739 is on the left, with PH-298 on the right).

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These compelling photographs not only serve as documentation for one of Still’s early exhibitions, but also reveal his associations with other notable figures in the art world.

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