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Art Directory Museums Switzerland  

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1494 - was born the Italian mannerist painter Jacopo da Pontormo

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1930 Director Claude Chabrol was born in Paris France

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Aargauer Kunsthaus

Founded in 1959, the Aargauer Kunsthaus is one of the leading art museums in Switzerland. It derives its appeal in particular from its exhibition programme, in which contemporary art takes a central place, and from its outstanding permanent collection, arguably the most important public collection of Swiss art from the 18th century to the present. In 2003 the museum building was expanded based on designs by Herzog & de Meuron Architects in collaboration with the artist Rémy Zaugg, creating a total exhibition space of 3000 square metres. Each year the Kunsthaus presents about ten large and smaller-scale exhibitions, showcasing major national and international artistic approaches. Particular attention is also paid to young artists and to artists from the Aargau region. An innovative, wide-ranging art education programme serves to foster public appreciation, particularly on the part of a younger audience, of the exhibitions and the permanent collection, with the latter regularly being presented in new arrangements.


Fotomuseum Winterthur

Fotomuseum Winterthur was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to photography as art form and document, and as a representation of reality. Fotomuseum Winterthur is on the one hand an art gallery for photography by contemporary photographers and artists. On the other, the Fotomuseum Winterthur is also a traditional museum for works by 19th and 20th century masters. And finally, it is a cultural-historical, sociological museum of applied photography in the fields of industry, architecture, fashion, etc.


Kunsthaus Zurich

When in 1787 a circle of artists and connoisseurs began to meet on a regular basis for friendly discussion and mutual encouragement they could little have imagined the Kunsthaus as it is today. Yet out of this group arose the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, the driving force behind the emergence of the Kunsthaus. As a result of their efforts the museum was opened in 1910 and, after many extensions, today houses one of Switzerland’s most important collections.


Kunstmuseum Basel

The Kunstmuseum houses the Gemäldegalerie (Painting Collection) and the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings). The main focus is on paintings and drawings by artists active in the Upper Rhine region between 1400 and 1600 and on the art of the 19th to 21st centuries. Higlights: the worlds largest collection of works by the Holbein family and major pieces by Konrad Witz, Martin Schongauer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Mathias Grünewald.


Kunstmuseum Bern

Works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim have made the Museum of Fine Arts Bern an institution with an international reputation. At the present time, the constantly growing and evolving collection consists of over 3,000 paintings and sculptures as well as 48,000 drawings, prints, photographs, videos and films. The Museum of Fine Arts Bern is the oldest art museum in Switzerland with a permanent collection and houses works covering eight centuries.


Maison Tavel

La Maison Tavel houses a museum devoted to Geneva’s history and the everday life of its residents. The building itself is a historic monument, the city’s oldest preserved residential building, dating from the 14th century. Artifacts dating from the middle ages to the 19th century are presented on several floors.


Musée Ariana

The Ariana Museum brings under one roof the City of Geneva’s collections of ceramics and glass. It is the only museum in Switzerland devoted entirely to kilncraft. With over 16,000 objects,the collections illustrate seven centuries of ceramics in Geneva, Switzerland, Europe and the East.


Musée d'art et d'histoire

The MAH was designed as an encyclopedic museum, and  houses collections in such diverse fields as archeology, the fine arts and applied arts, bringing together examples of the highlights of western culture from its origins to the present day.
© photo : Gérard Pétremand - (Centre Multimédia, Département de la Culture)


Musée Rath

The Museum Rath (Art and History Museum) was erected between 1903 and 1910. Designed as an encyclopedic museum, it houses collections in such diverse fields as archeology, the fine arts and applied arts, and brings together typical examples of the highlights of western culture from its origins to the presentday. The Museum owns a rich collection of regional prehistoric items as well as the largest Swiss collection of Egyptian antiques.
The Near-East, Greek, Etruscan and Roman collections offer a complete archeological overview up to the Coptic and Byzantine christian era.


Museo Barbier - Mueller Genève

Founded in 1977, the Museum is situated in the heart of the Old Town of Geneva. Its aim is to preserve, study, and publish a collection begun by Josef Mueller in 1907 and carried on to this day by his heirs. Today the collection contains over 7,000 articles and includes works of art from Tribal and Classical Antiquity as well as sculptures, fabrics and ornaments from "primitive" civilisations around the world. Many of these works are considered to be unqualified masterpieces. 


Museo d'Arte della Città di Lugano

Villa Malpensata which today houses the Museo d’Arte Moderna of the City of Lugano was built in the first half of the 18th century. After years of restoration, Villa Malpensata was reopened in 1992 with an exhibition devoted to Thomas Hart Benton and, on that occasion, the building adopted its present name of Museo d’Arte Moderna of the City of Lugano, devoted to temporary exhibitions of a specific historical and artistic bent,  with particular emphasis on the Expressionist school.


Museo delle Culture

The Museum of Cultures has found  seat at Villa Heleneum, which is situated on the Gandria path in Lugano, between the localities of Cortivo and San Domenico. The villa is immerged in a public park on the lake’s shore and is a neo-classical style building, built between 1930 and 1934, copy of a famous 18th Century villa, Le Petit Trianon, built by Louis XV near the Palace of Versaille. The Brignoni Collection is, in its genre, one of the most important in Europe and is comprised of about 600 objects of primitive art coming from three continents: Oceania, Asia and Africa. These are all artefacts connected to religious worship and daily life.


Museo Mendrisio

Founded within the walls of a former monastery in 1982, the Mendrisio Art Museum organise exhibitions dedicated to the great 20th century masters, among those most appreciated both by critics and the general public. After opening with two significant reviews of Paul Klee,the cycle of retrospectives has included reappraisals of painters such as Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Eduardo Chillida, Mark Tobey, Sam Francis, Jean Arp, Julius Bissier, Ben Nicholson,
Meret Oppenheim, Fritz Wotruba, Walter Kurt Wiemken and Renato Birolli, with attention always focused on hitherto unexplored aspects and little-known materials used in their work


Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum for Contempory Art)

The Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum of Contemporary Art) opened in 1980 and  was the first museum in Europe dedicated exclusively to contemporary art.The Museum displays contemporary art from the collections of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation and the Kunstmuseum. In addition to changing presentations of the collection, which are kept in dialogue with the Museums exhibition activities, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst regularly schedules lectures and discussions on aspects of contemporary art.


Segantini Museum

The Museum, which opened in 1908, was designed by architect Nicolaus Hartmann to be a monument, an accessible memorial to the great artist who spent the last 5 years of his life in the Engadine. The building, with its large cupola, was constructed along the lines of the pavilion Giovanni Segantini had planned for his Engadine Panorama, which was to have been exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900. The Segantini Museum was renovated and extended in 1998-9 by architect Hans-Jörg Ruch.
Foto: © HUMA3


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