the liesbeth bollen fund
Dear Friends,
a few days before Liesbeth Bollen died I was fortunate to spend a short time with her and her husband Leo together. We talked about endowing one or more internships at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in her name—a way of perpetuating her memory at the museum which she loved and which loved her. Liesbeth was enthusiastic, and asked that the internship be open to all nationalities (not just her own, Belgian). I was able subsequently to mention this project, as a way of remembering Liesbeth, to severalof her family and friends and all agreed that this is a wonderful idea. Our target therefore is to raise not less than €100,000, a permanent endowment within the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, that would enable young student(s) of art, art history or museum studies to participate for three months in Peggy Guggenheim Collection operations and educational programs, with a stipend of €1,000 per month, and to do so in Liesbeth’s name. May I invite you therefore to help us to meet this goal, for Liesbeth’s sake? A few donations have already been pledged, and I am thrilled to say that one donor in particular has already offered half the amount we seek, which encourages us to hope that we may exceed our goal and sponsor more than one intern. Following are some notes on how you may give. Donors who are taxpayers in Italy, the UK, and the USA may benefit from income tax deductions. I and all the staff of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Leo Schubert and Liesbeth’s family, will all be extremely grateful, and proud of Liesbeth.

Philip Rylands Venice,
August 2007

eligible interns
Please note that interns eligible for the Liesbeth Bollen fund are selected from amongst the accepted applicants of the Internship Program. Applicants therefore may not apply for this fund directly.

For further information:
tel: +39.041.2405.401/444
fax: +39.041.5206.885

how to donate
Donations should be made to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation indicating “In Memory of Liesbeth Bollen”.
Donations made via bank transfer, postal order, credit card, bank or cashier's check may be eligible for tax benefits under IRPEF and IRES under law 35 14/03/05 for donations made to foundations.

For further information:
tel: +39.041.2405.401/444
fax: +39.041.5206.885

Liesbeth Bollen (1970-2007)
Born into a numerous and loving family in Kortenberg, Belgium, Liesbeth studied history of art and museology at the Universities of Leuven and Florence. In 1997 following an internship in the Cultural Department of the European Commission in Brussels, Liesbeth joined the internship programme at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. She quickly emerged as a star, and took a position managing the entire internship programme.
She was later promoted to press and communications officer. By this time she was becoming well known among the public and private cultural institutions of Venice and was widely admired for her hard work, her strong sense of duty and commitment, her efficiency and perhaps above all for her sweet and charming personality.
In 2005 Liesbeth transferred to the director's office of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she was responsible for managing public relations, principally with the Foundation’s trustees. Shortly before her departure she married the Swiss-Austrian architect Leo Schubert, a widely respected figure in the field of Venetian architectural conservation. After a year in America, Leo and Liesbeth jointly decided to return to their beloved Venice. In January 2006 Liesbeth rejoined the Peggy Guggenheim Collection where the director Philip Rylands gave her a new position as Director of External Affairs, with overall responsibility for membership, special events, fundraising, communications and public relations. In her role she became a very important and well-loved member of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection’s small staff and a key figure in the museum’s relations with its patrons: local authorities, benefactors and especially the international Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. All those who have had the privilege of working with Liesbeth would affirm that she was a most exceptional person. Always a calm presence, Liesbeth had excellent judgment and as a stylish and charming young woman, was strikingly modest. In addition to all these qualities she brought loyalty, discretion and efficiency to her work at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Liesbeth died of cancer on July 29, 2007, in the Ospedale Civile of Venice, Ss. Giovanni e Paolo, and is buried on the Island of San Michele.

Eleonora Neil
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, October 2016-January 2017]
Upon receiving acceptance to the Peggy Guggenheim Internship Program, I immediately knew an incredible experience was ahead of me. Several months later, I received news of being the recipient of the Liesbeth Bollen Fund, elevating the value of an already unique internship. Thus, from the first day in late September, I aimed to pursue the internship in the honor of a woman who is remembered for her skill and passion for working with people. Throughout the course of my months as a PGC intern, I was given the opportunity to participate in all the aspects of running a museum from guarding (I have never been consistently surrounded by such beauty in a place of work) to teaching kids about art to participating in the installations of exhibitions. The amount of hands-on work is incredible and cannot be matched. Lastly, though by no means least important, I had the opportunity to work alongside a dedicated and creative team. From the Director to the Security Guards, each and every member of the staff works hard every single day to ensure a successful day not just for the visitors, but for each other. Without exaggeration, this internship set me on a path that I plan to continue throughout the rest of my professional career.

Katharina Sophia Hüls
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, October-December 2015]
The internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in autumn 2015 has been a unique and memorable experience for me and I am deeply grateful that I was chosen to carry out the program in the name of Liesbeth Bollen. During the three months I especially enjoyed the company of the other interns from all over the world, working with them site by site in the daily museum operations and exchanging inspiring thoughts on art. We not only enriched each other with our various knowledge and skills, but also grew together as a team and friends. Furthermore working in Peggy's former home and being surrounded by her collection imparted the spirit of her extraordinary personality and her notable sense for the art of her century. Therefore I gained an immense knowledge about Peggy Guggenheim's exceptional life as well as about the different artists and movements, which she promoted significantly. To then convey this vividly to an audience in public through presentations and tours, was firstly a real challenge for me, but became soon one of my favorite tasks and I still today consider it as my most important achievement within the internship program. In addition I was given the opportunity to work closely with the registrar, which I found enormously interesting and allowed me to catch an insight into the logistics of planning and realizing exhibitions. So it remains to say that the internship at the Guggenheim in Venice has been an eventful and defining time for me, on which I will always happily and proudly think back.

Margot H. Black
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, August-November 2014]
I count my time working at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as one of the most formative periods of my life thus far. It was a fully immersive experience, allowing me to work inside what was Peggy’s home, give tours of her collection, present to the public in her garden, celebrate her birthday with a concert, and enable her memory to live on through the numerous events and exhibitions. Furthermore, to do all of this in Liesbeth Bollen’s name was an honour. It is not just the museum’s art, nor its position on the Grand Canal, that is outstanding; its small staff and directorate play a huge part in making this internship the success that it is. Everyone I encountered was so willing to tell me their story and to guide me in the right direction, enabling my professional development. My time at the PGC influenced everything that I have done since. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in the arts world, and I encounter the friends I made at the PGC in arts institutions across the globe. I count myself very lucky to have been given this unique and highly rewarding opportunity – my heartfelt thanks go to everyone at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Daniela Leykam
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, August-October 2013]
The past three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection have been one of the greatest experiences I have made so far. I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work and learn among such extraordinary people: the staff of the PGC, the other interns, the visitors and guests of the museum. The dynamics and outcomes of bringing a group of interns together from all over the world with varying backgrounds and interests are immeasurable and of very high value. I have learnt as much about art as I have learnt about myself and my own personality. This intercultural experience has also been equally beneficial in shaping my proficiency and work skills. Thanks to the educational programs I was able to gain great experience of the art world with all its facets. Of course this also includes the direct insight in an art museum’s everyday life. Preparing and giving tours through the Collection has been one of the most rewarding aspects for me, since in this matter I was given the opportunity to increase my knowledge, while always considering my audience. Additionally it was thanks to the hours of guarding that I built up a close relationship to the actual artworks, and I am extremely grateful for each of these aspects of the work. The internship has not only been a true inspiration to me but also determined my further path, and I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the people who have made it possible for me.

Elizabeth Bernick
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, August-October 2011]
I would like to thank everyone who made my experience at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as the 2011 Liesbeth Bollen Intern so incredibly rewarding both professionally and personally. I am honored that I was chosen for this distinction and to carry out this internship in her name. This internship is unique in the art world, providing a young professional like myself with a wealth of experiences and skills that I would not have gained at any other institution. I was able to learn the ins and outs of the daily operation of a major museum, from opening and closing the galleries to working in the ticket office. I especially enjoyed preparing talks on masterpieces in the collection and giving tours of the museum to the public. I was also able to work closely with various members of the museum staff in different departments, ensuring that my experience was div erse and well-rounded. Above all, I value the personal contacts I developed at the museum, for it is truly a unique environment, filled with incredibly talented, friendly and motivated people who together make up a world class staff. I am proud to say that, because of the Liesbeth Bollen Internship, I was able to be one of them.

Marianna Siciliano
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, June-July 2009]
I want to express my sincerest thanks for the opportunity to intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection this summer. The Liesbeth Bollen internship is a distinction I was truly honored to receive. What I experienced at the PGC will stay with me as I continue on in life and my future career. From the daily tasks of opening and closing the museum to interacting with a div erse public, talking with engaged visitors about Rauschenberg’s Gluts and bonding with fellow interns, I learned something new with each aspect of the day.
The months I spent at the PGC will be ones I look back on with greatest affection, joy and appreciation.

Melissa Diaz
[Liesbeth Bollen intern, June-July 2008]
My internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection provided me with a wealth of professional and cultural opportunities. One of the most satisfying aspects of internship was presenting the museum’s historic collection to the public through daily talks and tours. I was also able to work in several of the museum’s departments, where I acquired valuable experience and professional development in issues concerning museum administration and permanent collection management. Working with a talented group of international interns allowed me to build strong friendships and professional relationships with students from all over the world. My overall experience was profoundly enriched by the Venetian landscape. As an intern, I was encouraged (and given the opportunities) to take advantage of the multitude of cultural and educational offerings in Venice and the Veneto region.