During the Renaissance, the Medici family took care of encourage artistic creation through patronage. They paid great artists like Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. By the 20th century, the most famous and influential patron was Peggy Guggenheim.
His father, Benjamin Guggenheim, died in the sinking of the Titanic when she was thirteen years old. He left him a fortune of 2.5 million dollars (which today is equivalent to more than 37 million dollars) that he could dispose of from the age of twenty. Instead of living the life of a bourgeois heiress – despite her fortune, her wealth was small compared to that of the rest of her Guggenheim relatives – she decided to work at Sunwise Turn, a small bookstore in Manhattan that turned out to be one of the first to belong to a woman. There he entered the artistic and bohemian life and he did not look back again.
After the bookstore, Peggy decided to move to Paris, where it seemed that the entire cultural and artistic circle was gathered. There he met writers and artists of the moment, like Marcel Duchamp, who accompanied her all her life as a friend and mentor. It was in the city of lights that his obsession with art collection, mainly because of the one that was taking place at the time.
In 1938, before World War II broke out, he opened a gallery in London called the Guggenheim Young, where he exhibited works by Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Kandinsky, among other artists of the moment. However, he had to close the gallery both because of a loss of money and because war was already imminent. It was then that, instead of fleeing back to the United States immediately, he set the goal of buying a work of art a day; in this way it was that he began to knead what would become the famous Peggy Guggenheim collection, made up of some of the most emblematic works and artists of the surrealism, cubism, abstract expressionism and modernism. To date there are works by Magritte, Picasso, Dalí, Chagall, Miró, among others.