By  on October 21, 2010

“Like the self-propelled legend she is, Peggy Guggenheim appears for a morning photo call in an ancient Fortuny evening dress. She snatches one of the hundred pairs of antique earrings nailed to her bedroom wall, quickly brushes the short gray hair and removes her thick eyeglasses. ‘I won’t have people know I wear these things,’ the wizened 81-year-old art collector whispers.”

WWD had the pleasure of interviewing the art legend at her Venice home in 1979. The profile, which ran on Sept. 25, included a striking portrait of Guggenheim, in those crinkly Fortuny pleats, set against an even more striking background of her own choosing: the front gates of her Grand Canal palazzo, between the six lion heads that dotted the neighboring wall and the famous Marino Marini sculpture of an aroused boy sitting atop a horse. “It could be a comic scene from a bad 1960s Italian movie,” the reporter continued, “but an oblivious Guggenheim simply stares into the camera, occasionally swaying her body to make sure the light hits just right.” She explains to the writer that Marini’s provocative appendage was previously detachable “so [she] could remove it when the nuns went to the church next door.” It was later stolen and replaced by a permanent version. “Now the nuns don’t walk by anymore,” she added.

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