The Wagner Journal

Derek Hughes, Wagner and ‘the Jew Guggenheim’

Derek Hughes, Wagner and ‘the Jew Guggenheim’

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March 2024, Volume 18, Number 1, 27–31.

On 30 January 1883, in Venice, Wagner was talking to his young friend Paul von Joukowsky (who had designed most of the scenery for Parsifal). Joukowsky deplored the introduction of vaporetti (steamers), which had made their appearance two years earlier. Wagner, however, was less indignant, replying ‘that he could not feel such concern about them, since they have place in our modern world, in which the Jew Guggenheim is also one of Venice’s benefactors; and if one wished to preserve Venice in its old state, one would also have to put the old families back in the palaces!’

Who was ‘the Jew Guggenheim’?

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