Former Prague resident and Guggehnheim director Thomas M. Messer dies, aged 93

Thomas Maria Messer, who headed the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for more than 27 years, died on Wednesday in New York at the age of 93. Messer, who was born in Bratislava, moved to Prague when he was four years old. He left Czechoslovakia to go to the United States on a study grant sixteen years later, in September 1939. He enlisted in the American army during the Second World War and served in Europe, but returned to live in the U.S. afterwards. Mr Messer became the director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1961, and is credited with acquiring a number of large and important private art collections as well as facilitating the opening of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Guggenheim Foundation’s first international location.

Author: Masha Volynsky