It was a bit different (in venue, day and cost) than our typical program but DIHS got our new programming year off to a strong start Thursday night at the Daniel Island Club.
We did a dual sponsorship with The Daniel Island News Author Series presenting Dirk Smillie. He’s a former Forbes journalist and the author of the definitive Harry Frank Guggenheim biography “The Business of Tommorrow.”
Smillie walked an audience of almost 200 people through the scope and scale of Henry Guggenheim’s life of innovation across varied elements of our society.
One of Harry Guggenheim’s interests was aviation. He met Charles Lindbergh just days before Lindbergh’s pioneering flight from New York to Paris….the event that made Lindbergh the most famous man on Earth! Guggenheim ran the fund that bankrolled Lindbergh’s triumphant tour of the nation flying in and out of 22 cities and promoting aviation safety at every stop. Guggenheim also funded a dozen university aviation programs credited with major innovations. He’s widely considered a major force in the development of commercial passenger service. In fact, some think he had a more important impact on aviation than the Wright Brothers!
Both Guggenheim and Lindbergh also were influential in the success of rocket researcher Robert Goddard. Guggenheim bankrolled Goddard to ten years which ended with Goddard being tagged “The Father of Modern Rocketry”
Other Guggenheim ventures included horse racing…and part of his racing stable was housed on his Cainhoy Peninsula property. His horse Dark Star won the Kentucky Derby in 1953.
He and his third wife, Alecia Patterson took the bankrupt Long Island newspaper Newsday and turned it into both a commerical and journalistic success.
And of course his impact on the art world is well known. Smillie walked us through how his efforts to preserve his Uncle Solomon’s art collection wandered through trials, tribulations and ego battles but eventually resulted in The Guggenheim international constellation of museums includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
To watch a video of Dirk Smillie’s presentation on YouTube CLICK HERE!
For more on father and son Daniel and Harry Guggenheim’s role in American aviation CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE to find out how successful Guggenheim’s Cainhoy Stable was in the world of horse racing.
To learn more about Guggenheim family impact on the art world CLICK HERE.
And CLICK HERE for more on the book from Simon & Schuster.