Join Judith Mackrell, The Guardian‘s dance critic and the author of The Unfinished Palazzo, for a talk about the iconic Palazzo Venier. Commissioned in 1750, it was planned as a testimony to the power and wealth of a great Venetian family, but the project was abandoned with only one storey complete. Empty and decaying, ‘il palazzo non finito’ remained an eyesore for over a century, until it’s spirit of fairytale abandonment – and potential for transformation – attracted and inspired three fascinating women.
Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim used the Unfinished Palazzo as a stage on which to re-fashion their lives, each making the building famous, or notorious, in her way. Their worlds of art and imagination boasted an amazing supporting cast including Nijinksy, Noel Coward, Winston Churchill, Cecil Beaton and Yoko Ono.
Individually, the lives of these three women make remarkable stories of rebellion, absurd privilege and bold self-reinvention. Together they offer a snapshot of history – both of modern Venice, and of the way women chose to live in the 20th century.