Labeled “a pollinator” by art historian John Richardson, Peggy Guggenheim was a glamorous, gregarious, and scandalously outrageous supporter of the arts. Guggenheim wielded her family wealth to amass a formidable collection of Modern art. Additionally, Guggenheim seeded new collections across the world - including the Stanley Museum of Art - through generous gifts of art such as Jackson Pollock’s Mural and Irene Rice Pereira’s Eight Oblongs (viewable in this exhibition). Guggenheim may have been the most infamous female art patron in the twentieth century, but she was not alone. While Guggenheim cultivated her curatorial prowess, printmaker June Wayne challenged the boundaries of her medium through her innovatively collaborative Tamarind Institute, which brought together master printmakers and other artists to produce new works in tandem. Similarly, Lil Picard orchestrated countless happenings and elevated the work of other performative artists in New York outside of the formal gallery scene. In Iowa, Virginia Meyers pioneered new printmaking technologies and inspired generations of students to invent and expand artmaking traditions. This exhibition explores the multivalent women-generated and women-centered systems of support that made Modern art and continue to fuel contemporary artmaking today.
This exhibition was curated by Vero Rose Smith, Associate Curator at the Stanley Museum of Art and organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.