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Rijksmuseum and Museum De Lakenhal present an ode to the women of De Stijl
Wies van Moorsel, Karole Vail, Doris Wintgens, Hendrikje Crebolder and Meta Knol. Photo: Jan- Kees Steenman.

AMSTERDAM.- The first copy of 'Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg: Advocates of De Stijl' was presented today at the Rijksmuseum to Karole Vail, director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Wies van Moorsel, biographer and niece of Nelly van Doesburg. The book by curator Doris Wintgens is an ode to the two friends Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg, and describes their efforts to bring De Stijl to the attention of the world as an artistic movement.

Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg: Advocates of De Stijl
The independent and strongminded Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) and Nelly van Doesburg (1899-1975) chose to live their lives in, with and for modern art. They met in 1938 at Guggenheim’s avant-garde gallery in London. Van Doesburg was in London on a mission to promote the ideas and work of her late husband Theo. As editor of the eponymous magazine, Theo van Doesburg was the central figure in De Stijl, from its foundation in 1917 until his death in 1931.

The two women were well matched and soon became friends. Van Doesburg became Guggenheim’s most important advisor in the field of abstract art. After the war, Guggenheim helped Van Doesburg to raise awareness in the United States of the work of Theo van Doesburg and other De Stijl artists by holding a series of exhibitions and selling their work. Van Doesburg and Guggenheim’s crowning achievement was an exhibition on De Stijl at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1952.

In Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg: Advocates of De Stijl, Doris Wintgens, Curator of Modern Art at Museum De Lakenhal, describes the vital contribution that the two friends made to winning recognition and acclaim for De Stijl as one of the most important artistic movements that The Netherlands has ever produced. It is the first time that attention has been devoted to the role played by Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg in propagating De Stijl.

Peggy Guggenheim and Nelly van Doesburg: Advocates of De Stijl is published by NAi010 Publishers in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and Museum De Lakenhal.

The publication has been made possible with the support of Pon, sponsor of the Rijksmuseum’s collection of 20th-century works.

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