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Solomon R. Guggenheim With one of his daughters on the deck of the Aquitania. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-75062).

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Guggenheim, Solomon Robert (02 February 1861–03 November 1949), industrialist, art collector, and museum founder, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Meyer Guggenheim, businessman, and Barbara Meyer, Swiss immigrants who had accompanied their parents to Philadelphia in 1847 to escape restrictions on Jews in their native land. By the time of Solomon’s birth, the family had prospered, its good fortune hastened by Meyer’s shrewdness in providing clothing and food supplies for the Union Army during the Civil War. After attending public school in Philadelphia, Solomon was sent to the Concordia Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, to polish his German and study business techniques. Together with his brothers Isaac, Daniel, and Murry, he became a partner in M. Guggenheim’s Sons, the family lace and embroideries manufacturing and importing company (1877; incorp. 1882), and remained in Europe as manager of a branch of the family business in Saxony. The four brothers became the masterminds behind the Guggenheim empire....