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Art is almost like a religion. It is what I believe in. It is what gives my life dimension beyond the material world we live in.” Hannelore B. Schulhof

From October 2012 eighty-three works of Italian, European and American art of the decades after 1945 will be added to the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Venice. They are the bequest of Hannelore B. Schulhof, who passed away on 23 February, and who collected the works with her late husband Rudolph B. Schulhof (1912-1999). On 12 October, 5pm-8pm, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection will open free to its public, with an invitation to enjoy for the first time an important selection of works of this donation, which will be on view in its entirety for several months in 2013 beginning late May at the time of the opening of the Venice Biennale.

According to an agreement drawn up by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Mrs. Schulhof in 2004, the gift of paintings, sculptures and works on paper will reside permanently at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Italian branch of the Foundation and former home of the great collector Peggy Guggenheim. The collection, which will have its own designated spaces in the museum, will be known collectively as the “Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection.” The donation of the collection to Venice is an event of major importance not only for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, but for all of Italy, which is enriched by works of the highest artistic and historic value.

Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof shared with Peggy Guggenheim, whom they met in 1954 at the Venice Biennale and whom they admired as a kindred spirit, the conviction that they should collect the art of their own time, and they did so with a passion comparable to hers. Afro, Alberto Burri, Alexander Calder, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Eduardo Chillida, Tony Cragg, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, Jean Dubuffet, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, are some of the artists whose works are in the donation. When added to the Cubist, abstract, Surrealist, and early American Abstract Expressionist art in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and to Peggy own purchases of post-war art, the reach of the Venice museum will be extended into the 1970s and even 1980s.

Certain works will add significantly to the Foundation’s holdings of artists already present in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Works by post-war Italians will be particularly appropriate for the Venice-based museum. Perhaps most importantly the works by New York school artists will represent the United States in the generations after Peggy Guggenheim’s heroic championing of what came to be known as American Abstract Expressionism at her New York gallery, Art of This Century, and after her departure from New York in 1947. Color field painting and Minimal art will be on view permanently at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection for the first time. The Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Sculpture Garden will present works by Tony Caro, Barbara Hepworth, Jenny Holzer, Anish Kapoor, Sol Lewitt, Isamu Noguchi, and others.

Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, commented “Rudy and Hannelore Schulhof were rare collectors, discerning and empathetic. Having these exceptional objects on view in Venice richly updates the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.”

Michael P. Schulhof, son of the collectors, commented on behalf of the Schulhof family: “Venice and Peggy Guggenheim had a strong influence on how the Schulhof Collection came to be formed. It is fitting that these works will take their place at the museum and add to the many wonderful reasons why Venice plays such an important role in the world of modern art”.

Hannelore Schulhof grew up in pre-War Germany, which she left shortly before the outbreak of World War II. She was joined by her Czech-born fiancé Rudolph Schulhof in Brussels, where they married. From there they travelled together to the United States. The Schulhofs were praised as collectors from the 1960s for the refinement and discernment with which they brought together art from both the European and North American continents. Celebrated benefactors of the arts, each of them served on numerous museum boards and foundations, including CIMAM and the American Federation of Arts. Mr. Schulhof was a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation from 1993 until his death in 1999, while Mrs. Schulhof was a Charter (Founding) Member of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board in 1980.

Philip Rylands said: “Peggy Guggenheim’s departure from New York and the beginning of her Venetian life in 1947 marked the close of the heroic phase of her collecting. As a consequence, European and American postwar art is only sporadically represented in her collection. The Schulhofs began their collecting where Peggy left off, so their collection represents a perfect fit, extending and enriching seamlessly the Venice museum’s post-war art with great works by great artists.”

Venedig, Presse

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