When Justin K. Thannhauser (1892–1976) brought his collection of modern art to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1965, it was his crowning achievement after more than a half century as one of Europe’s most influential and distinguished collectors and dealers. The collection’s formal bequeathal to the Guggenheim in 1978 represents a watershed moment for the museum – today its Thannhauser Collection constitutes the core of the Guggenheim’s Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and School of Paris holdings, including thirty-two works by Pablo Picasso.
This lavishly illustrated volume presents the astonishing collection in full, offering a concentrated survey of works by such modern masters as Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh, among others. Throughout, artworks are given rich context and detail with historical installation views and high-tech conservation images. Short essays on collection highlights by current and former Guggenheim curators and conservators illuminate the artists’ stylistic innovations as they sought to liberate art from academic genres and techniques. The book also features extensive technical analyses, offering rare insight into the artists’ materials and processes based on the latest advances in conservation technology. A lead essay by Megan Fontanella recounts the genesis of Thannhauser’s collection and its eventual transfer to the Guggenheim Museum.