Peggy Guggenheim about Dorothea Tanning

Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning (1948, photo by Robert Bruce Inverarity)

Based on what she writes in her memoir, Out of This Century (1979), Peggy Guggenheim did not appreciate Dorothea Tanning very much. This might be partially due to the fact that Tanning and Guggenheim’s husband at the time, German artist Max Ernst, were having an affair.

Guggenheim writes: “I made Max work hard for this show. He had to go around to all the women, choose their paintings and carry them in the car to the gallery. He adored this, as he loved women, and some of them were very attractive. He was always interested in women who painted. There was one called Dorothea Tanning, a pretty girl from the Middle West. She was pretentious, boring, stupid, vulgar and dressed in the worst possible taste, but was quite talented and imitated Max’s painting, which flattered him immensely. She was so much on the make and pushed so hard that it was embarrassing.”

Guggenheim and Ernst eventually divorced, and he and Tanning got married in 1946 in a double ceremony with Man Ray and Juliet Browner.

The above quote is from page 233f. of Out of this Century (Anchor Books, 1980).