The Trudeau Institute played host to one of Historic Saranac Lake’s Lecture Series on Tuesday Evening.. Peter Lawson-Johnston, a fifth-generation member of the Guggenheim family, discussed his memoir, “Growing Up Guggenheim: A Personal History of a Family Enterprise,” on Wednesday, September 12, in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory Museum.
A grandson of Solomon R. Guggenheim, since 1964 Lawson-Johnston has been a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which currently operates Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao (Spain) and Berlin (Germany), along with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (Italy). He is presently honorary chairman of the foundation.
A graduate of the Lawrenceville School and the University of Virginia and a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Lawson-Johnston has also served as a senior partner at his family holding company, Guggenheim Brothers, since 1971, having joined the firm as a partner in 1962. He has also been a director of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation since 1968 and its chairman since 1971.
Walter Cronkite described Growing Up Guggenheim, first published in May 2005, as a “book of extraordinary and surprising revelations by a Guggenheim about the private lives of that fabulous and opulent family.” And William F. Buckley Jr. called Lawson-Johnston’s memoir a “splendid book, original, readable, dramatic, and instructive.”
Edmond A. Guggenheim helped supervise his family’s copper holdings for nearly 50 years and summered in the Adirondacks. Guggenheim built the Guggenheim Camp on Lower Saranac Lake, which he owned from 1917 to 1963. He also acquired the famed Algonquin Hotel, which was located on an adjacent property, and donated it to the Trudeau Institute, which replaced the structure with their present building in the late 1950s. The event was co-sponsored by the Trudeau Institute, Historic Saranac Lake and local resident Lilo G. Levine.
Historic Saranac Lake Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit, architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from its center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The Trudeau Institute is a nonprofit biomedical research center founded in 1884 by Dr. E.L. Trudeau. The Institute’s fundamental research on immunity fosters the development of vaccines, treatments and cures for many life-threatening diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis and influenza. The Institute is supported by federal and state grants and contributions from individuals, private foundations and corporations. For further information about the Trudeau Institute, go to www.trudeauinstitute.org.