The Last Dogaressa

Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

February 15–June 14, 2020
Curated by Christa Clarke, R. Tripp Evans, Ellen McBreen, and Fanny Wonu Veys, with Vivien Greene


“I found myself the proud possessor of 12 fantastic artifacts, consisting of masks and sculptures from New Guinea, the Belgian Congo, the French Sudan, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and New Ireland”
– Peggy Guggenheim, Out of this Century

Peggy Guggenheim challenged boundaries as a patron and collector and is celebrated for her groundbreaking European and American modern art collection. Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection focuses on a lesser-known, but crucial episode in Guggenheim’s collecting: her turn in the 1950s and ’60s to works created by artists in Africa, Oceania, and the indigenous Americas.

Migrating Objects represents a remarkable occasion to view 35 rarely seen non-Western artworks Guggenheim collected, shown at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as a cohesive whole for the first time. This exhibition presents Guggenheim’s African, Oceanic, and indigenous Americas objects in groupings privileging their original contexts or, alternately, in dialogue with European works from her collection by avant-garde artists who appropriated ideas from cultures beyond Europe’s borders. These opposing modes of display enable an exploration of the flawed narratives that Western culture imposed on objects of this kind.

Captions: Flute figure, late 19th – early 20th century. Unrecorded Chambri artist, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Wood, dog teeth, conus shell, plant fiber, and natural pigment, 49 x 8 x 6 cm. 76.2553 PG 239 / D’mba headdress, probably first half of 20th century. Unrecorded Baga artist, Guinea. Wood and brass tacks, 142 x 40 x 75 cm. 76.2553 PG 243 / Female figure, 300 BCE–400 CE. Unrecorded Nayarit artist (Ixtlán del Río culture), ancient West Mexico. Slip-painted terracotta 42 x 24 x 13 cm. 76.2553 PG 264 / Photo ©

Migrating Objects emerges from an extended period of research and discussion on this largely ignored area of Guggenheim’s collection ‎by a Curatorial Advisory Committee of experts, which has led to exciting findings, including the reattribution of individual works, among them the Nigerian headdress (Ago Egungun) produced by the workshop of Oniyide Adugbologe (ca. 1875–1949), which is on view in the exhibition.

The exhibition’s Curatorial Advisory Committee comprises Christa Clarke, Independent Curator and Scholar, Arts of Global Africa, and Affiliate, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; R. Tripp Evans, Professor, History of Art, Wheaton College, Mass.; Ellen McBreen, Associate Professor, History of Art, Wheaton College, Mass.; and Fanny Wonu Veys, Curator, Oceania, National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands; with Vivien Greene, Senior Curator, 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, who edited the exhibition catalogue.


Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, has received the patronage of the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency). The exhibition program of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is supported by the museum’s Advisory Committee. Educational activities related to the exhibition are underwritten by the Araldi Guinetti Foundation, Vaduz. Exhibitions at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are supported by the Institutional Patrons, EFG, Lavazza, Sanlorenzo, and the companies which comprise the Guggenheim Intrapresæ group.

With the support of

Institutional Patrons
  The exhibition is made possible by
Guggenheim Intrapresae
Aermec + Allegrini + Apice + Arper + Davide Groppi + Distilleria Nardini + Florim + Foodies Bros + Gruppo Campari + Hangar Design Group + Istituto Europeo di Design + Mapei + René Caovilla + Rubelli + Swatch

Public programs are made possible by
Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, Vaduz

Mobility Partner

  Under the auspices of