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Jackson Pollock Pissed in Peggy Guggenheim’s Fireplace. And Painted her an Early Mural

After her divorce from Max Ernst, super collector Peggy Guggenheim moved into this duplex apartment in 1943, adding a new address to where New York’s art world elite would gather. Her curatorial eye turned to Jackson Pollock, (whom she had  “discovered” working as a janitor at the The Museum of Non-Objective Art- later the Guggenheim Museum) and commissioned to create a giant mural piece for her new entry way. At first she wanted a mural directly on the wall, but her buddy Duchamp convinced her to get a work on canvas.


An early example of Pollock’s work, Mural doesn’t have his drippy action painting effects, but instead more controlled swirls and forms. After creating the massive painting, which was 20 feet long and 8 feet high, Pollock found it to be a little bit too big. Undaunted (and a day of difficult install) Peggy got the new piece, simply called Mural, in place, then invited over the creme de la creme of New York’s art world for an unveiling celebration.


Pollock, being a famous alcoholic, was also known to urinate in unlikely places. During the unveiling parting, Pollock bragged later about showing up wasted, then walking over to the fireplace, unzipping, and pissing right in front of everyone.


Peggy donated Pollock’s Mural to the Iowa Museum of Art.

Who: Peggy Guggenheim

What: Residence, sit of Jackson Pollock’s Early “Mural”

Where: 155 East 61st Street



3 Responses to “Jackson Pollock Pissed in Peggy Guggenheim’s Fireplace. And Painted her an Early Mural”
  1. Nowadays that would have already been posted on YouTube…

  2. Anonymous says:

    great scene in the movie. His alcolholism was no laughing matter but I kinda of love his pissing on their little party.

  3. Paul Lowis says:

    It’s amazing the things that you find on your way when looking for something else!

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