VENEZIA H2O_Water is the starting point on a journey of discovery into the secrets of the lagoon and their relationship with humans and art. Starting in October, six “aquatic” events will be staged for Peggy Guggenheim Collection Family Card holders.
From October to May, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection will be presenting a brand-new programme of activities dedicated to Family Card holders, over the course of six dates and focused on the element of water – also the inspiration for the Il Gufo SS19 collection.

These events will offer an opportunity to explore Venice, a city that is forced to deal with the elements, issues and countless distinctive features of the lagoon on a daily basis. The young participants will have a chance to discover how humans were able to adapt both their means of transport and their construction systems to create a city built entirely on water, unique both in terms of its engineering and its architecture. The water level that reached a record high of 194cm when Venice flooded on 4th November 1966 and became known as the Aqua Granda, as well as the relationship between fresh and salt water, will be examined on a visit to the sandbanks and an in-depth look at typical lagoon vegetation.
By learning to read historical maps of Venice, kept in the State Archives, children will also have the opportunity to consider the relationship between water and land, the fine line between the lagoon’s two elements.

These activities will also provide a chance to take a closer look at artists who have grappled with water in their art: for example, the permanent Peggy Guggenheim Collection includes paintings by Tancredi Parmeggiani, the bedhead by Alexander Calder, On the Beach by Pablo Picasso and Sea = Dancer by Gino Severini. The characteristic colour of water and its many variations have seen blue become a particularly important hue for artists of the Middle Ages, when ultramarine blue was extracted from lapis lazuli, and for contemporary artists such as Yves Klein, who in 1957, developed International Klein Blue, a specific shade of ultramarine blue that the French artist used in a series of monochromatic works. Starting with water, a primary life source and an element that is fundamental to the health of our planet, each activity will offer an opportunity to learn more about Venice and its natural environment, marine ecosystem, urban context, human and cultural settlement, but above all to love and protect this unique city.
Il Gufo supporting the museum in this project for the second year, has unveiled a collection dedicated to the sea for next Spring/Summer, inspired by the ethical message promoted by the famous explorer and navigator Jacques-Yves Cousteau: “Knowing your planet is a step towards protecting it.”

From this year, the museum will be supporting ASviS, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, which promotes the 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Venezia H2O is taking part in this important process to raise awareness by focusing on four of the UN Agenda’s 17 goals: Goal 4 (Quality education), Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), Goal 14 (Life below water) and Goal 15 (Life on land).

27th October
Padiglione delle Navi (Museo Storico Navale)
Crew, aboard!
From the gondola to the disdotona and from the bragozzo to the mascaréta! A shipwright, who still builds and restores boats today, will take us on a tour of discovery to learn about the boats of Venice’s history, their characteristics and the different ways in which they were used in the lagoon city. At the end, like real sailors, we will board a boat to experience the thrill of rowing in the waters off Venice’s Arsenale.
In partnership with the Il Caicio Floating Cultural Association. Guided tour with Nicolò Zen.

24th November
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
In the blue, the painted blue
The characteristic colour of water and its many shades have made blue a particularly important hue for artists over the centuries. Pablo Picasso used it in his “Blue Period”; Wassily Kandinsky compared it to the deep sound of the cello or double bass; Piet Mondrian described it as the colour of stasis, stillness and balance, while Yves Klein patented International Klein Blue in 1960.
On our visit to the museum we will take a close look at artworks inspired by the sea and water, and experiment first-hand with every shade of blue and the materials in which it can be found.
2nd February
Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree (Tide Monitoring and Forecast Centre)
Going up and down
During the flood that took place on 4th November 1966, the water level in Venice reached a record 194 centimetres. With the help of experts at the Tide Monitoring and Forecast Centre, we will study the phenomenon of “acqua alta” (high water) to understand how profoundly this affects the life of Venetians and to find out plenty of curious facts about tides, lunar cycles and even the siren that warns the city.
We will also learn about the various levels the water can reach with an active performance workshop.
In partnership with Venice’s Tide Monitoring and Forecast Centre (Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree).
16th March
Museo di Storia Naturale (Natural History Museum)
A garden on paper
The herbariums of the Natural History Museum are like gardens waiting to be leafed through and give us the chance to discover the world of the plants that populate the lagoon and beyond. Evolving and adapting to the saltiness of the sea water, specimens of various species of flora have succeeded in growing and colonising the lagoon landscape. A great many contemporary artists have also fallen under the spell of plants and herbariums: Mario Merz created a series of pieces Da un erbario raccolto nel 1979 in Woga-Woga, Australia (Collected from a herbarium in 1979 in Woga-Woga, Australia), and Giuseppe Penone created Thirty-Three Herbs using the frottage technique.
We will also learn about which and how many plants live in the lagoon and try to create our own herbariums.
In collaboration with the Fondazione Musei Civici, Venice.
13th April
V-A-C and the Island of Lazzaretto Nuovo
The lagoon in transformation
The lagoon is characterised by sandbanks and mudbanks, making it a unique and constantly changing environment. But what exactly are they and where can we find them? After visiting the Living Lagoon, a permanent outdoor installation at the V-A-C Foundation, where the habitat of the lagoon has been recreated in an artificial environment, we will visit the Island of Lazzaretto Nuovo to see the natural sandbanks, learn to recognise them and understand their distinctive features. We will become better acquainted with an island that has been used over the centuries as a place of quarantine, a gunpowder warehouse, a hospital for plague victims and even a saltworks. Finally, we will become real archaeologists to uncover finds and treasures of the past hidden in the lagoon.
In partnership with the Venice Archeoclub.
4th May
Archivio di Stato (State Archives)
Venice is a fish!
By looking at historical maps of Venice we can explore the relationship between land and water, discovering the fine line between the two elements that meet in the lagoon to create an unusual and fragile ecosystem. The maps important to contemporary artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Emilio Isgrò and Luciano Fabro are useful tools for reflecting on the geographical, scientific and social components we will use to create our own map of Venice.
In partnership with the Venice State Archives.
The workshops are reserved for Peggy Guggenheim Collection Family Card holders, for children aged 6 to 10, and their parents. For information and bookings, from the Wednesday of the week before each date: membership@guggenheim-venice.it; 041.2405429/412/440.

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