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In 1942, after graduating from Manhattan’s prestigious Jacobi School for Girls, opening a cutting-edge gallery in London, and marrying surrealist painter Max Ernst, Peggy Guggenheim opened Art of This Century, one of the most important exhibition spaces in the history of modern American art. The New York gallery’s stable included most of abstract expressionism’s major figures: Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Jackson Pollock—who, art-world legend has it, drunkenly urinated into Guggenheim’s fireplace during one of her wilder parties. By 1946, Guggenheim had relocated to Venice, established a third gallery, and written her titillating tell-all memoir, Out of This Century. Today, National Gallery of Art staffer Sally Shelburne details Guggenheim’s fruitful four years with Art of This Century in a lecture (part of the NGA’s Great Women in the Arts series) at 2 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Leonard Roberge)