This museum is next to the Historical and Ethnological Museum in the Central Park. The Museum of Art is one of the the most respected art museums in Eastern Switzerland and is a favorite delight for art lovers visiting the city. Displayed throughout 40 rooms over three floors, the museum includes works of arts from neoclassical to modern design, providing the perfect respite to spend multiple hours on a rainy afternoon.
The neoclassical building was designed by architect Johann Christoph Kunkler in 1877 and is equally as impressive to tour as the works of art on display. Encompassing 2400 m² of wall space, more than 3000 art objects are part of its permanent and rotating collections including paintings, prints, sculptures and drawings of historical significance as well as works by local artists. A focus on collections of Dutch, German and French artists is complimented by international contemporary sculptures as well as various pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Basement – coffee shop
In collaboration with the artist Caro Niederer «Good Life Ceramics», the museum created a coffee shop in the basement designed to be a place for meeting and lingering — a lovely spot to read a book and relax or enjoy a range of teas, coffees and desserts. One of the special elements of this space is the very large Pipilotti Rist red sofas which envelope you making you feel so small in their presence. They are the perfect place to read some special and unique books which are located nearby — a number of which have been left by artists themselves to share with visitors. Also of particular note are the beautiful glass lights near the bar which were made by Carmen Humbel. From April 6th to October 20th, the works of Keith Sonnier are being shown. The Museum’s Coffee Shop has the same opening hours as the museum itself.
Ground floor – entrance
The main floor of the museum houses the permanent collection which includes over one hundred paintings and additional sculptures. Personal favorites of mine are the originals of «Andy Warhol – Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup» (1962) and «Max Bill – Nr. 43» (1965) as well of course all the amazing works of Claude Monet. The collection also includes a substantial array of «Appenzeller Bauernmalerei» with works by Lämmler or Haim. Uniquely, the museum possesses the only work of Federico Baroccis on display in Switzerland, «Saint Sebastian». Completed between 1590 and 1595, it is an absolute rarity as it is one from only six similar paintings which are still in existence today.
The beautiful upper floor is flooded with natural light from its sunroof and holds the museum’s rotating exhibitions. I could easily spend hours in it! Currently the works of Judy Millar are on display from March 2nd through May 19th.
The Museum of Art is open six days a week from Tuesday until Sunday. If you want to know more about the current exhibitions – please visit the website!