Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
15 February 2020 - 14 June 2020
Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection focuses on a lesser-known, but crucial episode in Guggenheim’s collecting: her turn in the 1950s and ’60s to works created by artists in Africa, Oceania, and the indigenous Americas. Peggy Guggenheim challenged boundaries as a patron and collector and is celebrated for her groundbreaking European and American modern art collection.
“I found myself the proud possessor of 12 fantastic artifacts, consisting of masks and sculptures from New Guinea, the Belgian Congo, the French Sudan, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and New Ireland”
– Peggy Guggenheim, Out of this Century
Migrating Objects represents a remarkable occasion to view 35 rarely seen non-Western artworks Guggenheim collected, shown at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as a cohesive whole for the first time. This exhibition presents Guggenheim’s African, Oceanic, and indigenous Americas objects in groupings privileging their original contexts or, alternately, in dialogue with European works from her collection by avant-garde artists who appropriated ideas from cultures beyond Europe’s borders. These opposing modes of display enable an exploration of the flawed narratives that Western culture imposed on objects of this kind.
Migrating Objects emerges from an extended period of research and discussion on this largely ignored area of Guggenheim’s collection by a Curatorial Advisory Committee of experts, which has led to exciting findings, including the reattribution of individual works, among them the Nigerian headdress (Ago Egungun) produced by the workshop of Oniyide Adugbologe (ca. 1875–1949), which is on view in the exhibition.
February 15–June 14, 2020
Curated by Christa Clarke, R. Tripp Evans, Ellen McBreen, and Fanny Wonu Veys, with Vivien Greene.