The idea of avant-garde progress gives artists a proprietary attitude toward the future: when it arrives, they believe, it will be theirs. The New York painters had sustained that faith even when the cruelty of the Depression pushed them hard against their moment, and sometimes they took their difficulties for signs of a high destiny. Then the war began abroad, and historical pressures subsided in New York. The artists felt diminished, especially as their city filled with art stars from Europe. Most of these visitors intended to return to Paris the moment it became possible; for the duration, New York would be a way station—the avant-garde's capital-in-exile. To its original inhabitants, the city's art world felt increasingly tenuous. Then Peggy Guggenheim arrived on the scene and gave it a center.