Hilla Rebay


Hilla Rebay was born in Germany in 1890 and died in the United States in 1967. Rebay first studied art first in Germany and then in Paris between 1909-1910. By 1913 she was exhibiting with artists Archipenko, Brancusi, Chagall, Robert Delaunay and Diego Rivera at the Salon des Independents in Paris.

In 1915 through Hans Arp Rebay was introduced to the work of Kandinsky, Klee, Franz Marc, Chagall and Rudolf Bauer. The influence of these non-objective artists would later inform her collecting decisions for Solomon R. Guggenheim. After immigrating to the United States in 1927, she had become a friend, adviser and confidant to Guggenheim and so started The Museum of Non-Objective Painting which became the Guggenheim Museum.

It was Rebay who contacted Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build what we now know as the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue to house the collection Solomon R. had amassed at her direction. Rebay was the first director of the Museum from 1939 until 1952. During all of these years Rebay continued to make her own art and was finally in 2005, 38 years after her death, given recognition through an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum titled Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim.