A tribute to an eccentric supporter of modern art
As part of its ongoing commitment to actively engage in the promotion of arts and culture worldwide, Montblanc has recognized for over 25 years the invaluable contribution of modern day patrons of the arts in 17 countries, with its prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. Every year, to coincide with the Award, a unique Limited Edition writing instrument inspired by a historical patron of the arts is commissioned to honour the contemporary ones.
Montblanc’s Patron of Art Edition 2016 pays tribute to the outstanding legacy of one of the most influential art collectors and exhibitors of 20th century art, Peggy Guggenheim, who dedicated most of her life to protecting the art of her time by discovering and nurturing new talent, while building an important collection of works housed today in a Venice museum that still carries her name. Born in 1898 in New York City, the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim the eponymous founder of the Guggenheim Museum, left America for bohemian Paris where she was introduced to the avant-garde art scene by artist Marcel Duchamp. She became a supporter of many young abstract and surrealist artists whose works she showed in Europe and America, and is credited to have shaped the international careers of some of the 20th centuries most successful artists including Kandinsky, Pollock and Ernst. Montblanc pays tribute to the great 20th century champion of art with a Patron of Art Edition with design details inspired by her colourful life and her enduring legacy as one of the great patrons of her time.
Limited to just 81 pieces as a reference to the age at which she passed away, the Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim Limited Edition 81 is a personal homage to her life from her arrival in Europe to her later life in Venice. Created in the Montblanc Artisan Atelier from the finest materials and shaped by highly skilled master craftsmen, the design of the writing instrument is inspired the art deco style that surrounded the Montblanc Patron of Art Edition – Peggy Guggenheim A tribute to an eccentric supporter of modern art Patron of Art Edition Peggy Guggenheim | Writing Instruments Page 2 collector as she arrived in Paris in the 1920s, with clean lines forming the straight shape of the cap, clip and barrel. Evoking her eye for great artists, the skeletonized Au750 solid champagne gold structure of the barrel mirrors the dramatic entrance gates to the Guggenheim Collection in Venice, created by the prolific modernist sculptor Claire Falkenstein. The web of expanding iron branches around pieces of Venetian glass has been masterfully recreated through the finest craftsmanship. The lion head clip design refers to the Lion of Saint Mark, symbol of the city where Peggy Guggenheim chose to house her collection, while the pattern on the cap ring recalls certain graphic details on the front of Guggenheim’s Venetian palazzo-museum. A red lacquer inlay spiral is inspired by the iconic striped mooring poles lining the canals of Venice. Crowning the cap, the Montblanc emblem is crafted in white marble, a choice of material that mirrors the palazzo’s distinctive marble façade. A reference to her very particular style, the skeleton champagne-gold cap with its black lacquer underlay captures her penchant for the zebra pattern she used generously throughout her palazzo. Symbol of her exuberant personality, the striking glasses she loved to wear are captured in a fine engraving on the handcrafted Au 750 gold nib.
The art that Peggy Guggenheim discovered and promoted is the inspiration for the Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim Limited Edition 888, with a geometric art deco-inspired pattern adorning the red lacquered and ruthenium-coated cap and barrel. The engravings of lion heads on the red gold cap ring are inspired by the exterior of the “Palazzo Venier dei Leoni”, Peggy’s home for 30 years richly decorated with this symbol of Venice. The cap ring has been embellished with a set of 10 garnets in the eyes of the lions, while the cone, designed like the red and white striped mooring pillars found on the Venice waterways in red gold and translucent red lacquer, features a brilliant cut diamond ring at its end. The Montblanc emblem in white marble crowns the art-inspired writing instrument. The paws engraved on the Au750 solid gold nib recall the special affection she had for her 14 Lhasa Apso dogs. Peggy Guggenheim’s ‘beloved babies’ not only Patron of Art Edition Peggy Guggenheim | Writing Instruments Page 3 accompanied her on her gondola trips down the Grand Canal, but were laid to rest next to their eccentric owner in the grounds of her palazzo.
The Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim Limited Edition 4810 features the geometric art deco design on a black lacquered and platinum-coated cap and barrel, contrasting with the red and platinum-coated stripes on the cone of the writing instrument. The platinum-coated ring is elegantly embossed with the lion heads associated with Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice, while the Montblanc emblem that crowns the fountain pen is made of traditional black and white resin. Through the artistry of great craftsmanship, Montblanc shares the story of the woman who championed so many modern artists with passion and determination. Peggy Guggenheim’s contribution to cultural life is unquestionable, as she joins a small group of historic patrons to be honoured with a Montblanc Patron of Art Limited Edition, a writing instrument designed to coincide with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, the unique prestigious cultural prize awarded since 1992 in 17 countries honouring today’s patrons who continue to allow the arts to flourish by selflessly committing financial resources, time and energy to cultural projects. Each year an independent jury of eminent personalities selects and awards these global supporters of culture of our times. Past winners having included HRH The Prince of Wales, Queen Sofia of Spain and Yoko Ono, who were not only awarded with a reward to support their projects, but also presented with the latest Patron of Art Limited Edition, dedicated to one of the great historical patrons of world history such as the inimitable Peggy Guggenheim.