The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has housed masterpieces of impressionist, modern, and contemporary art in New York since its founding in 1939, and is famous for its swirling architectural presence designed by Frank Llyod Wright. Lesser known is the woman who inspired its creation and pushed for the utopian concept of objectivity that influenced its configuration: German baroness and curator Hilla von Rebay, who was allegedly at the center of a torrid love triangle with the museum's founder and one of its most prominently featured artists.
Born into German aristocracy, Rebay was exposed to art early on and demonstrated talent in the field, especially in portraiture. Her sketches were displayed in a group exhibition at the prestigious Galerie Der Sturm in 1917, where she met Rudolf Bauer. She formed an instant and passionate bond with the abstract painter, who was well-regarded for his talents, and was once arrested by the Nazis for his "degenerate" works during a brief return to his home in Germany. Throughout her life, Rebay remained his enduring champion.