Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern

Biographies should be so much more than tedious lists of famous people whose paths the subject crossed, and yet that seems to be the sum of Francine Prose’s Guggenheim bio. Her dating/marrying life was prolific—Max Ernst, Samuel Beckett, a violent marriage to Lawrence Vail—and she palled around with some great ladies like Djuna Barnes and Mary McCarthy. Highly influential in bringing modern art to the U.S., nourishing painters like Jackson Pollock, closely advised by Duchamp, she was at the intersection of all post-War creativity and used her money to push art to the forefront.