It sometimes seems to me that Geneva has more artists per square inch than any other city of comparable size. An event this coming Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 October, only fuels that impression.
Since the late 1950s, the Théâtre de Carouge has played a rich and vital role in Geneva’s cultural and social life by offering locally and internationally produced theatre productions of the highest calibre, in French, to loyal local audiences, the composition of which has changed dramatically over the decades. Today the city is home to a multitude of citizens and visitors from a broad swathe of origins, backgrounds, tastes and most significantly for a theatre company, languages.
When I visited the exhibition A Chinese Adventure: A Swiss family in pursuit of success in the Celestial Empire this past April, I promised myself that I would return to visit the permanent collection of the Musée Fondation Baur before the summer was out. With little time to spare after having enjoyed the temporary exhibit in the basement, I’d rushed through three floors of display cases catching too short a glimpse of the artwork on view. But it was long enough to appreciate that the beauty — and unexpectedly to me, the humour — to be found in the exquisite Far Eastern treasures displayed merited at the very least one more visit.
Three museums in Morges will be the setting for an exploration of the fashion legend’s oeuvre including pieces created especially for the films and private life of his famous client, who lived in nearby Tolochenaz. From the 20th May and continuing until 17th September, lovers of haute couture and of cinema will have an extraordinary opportunity to visit a unique retrospective that explores — for only the third time internationally — the life’s work of one of haute couture’s greatest designers, Hubert de Givenchy. In this context, it will also look at the unparalleled professional collaboration and personal friendship that Givenchy enjoyed with his muse, the celebrated actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, which defined her unique look and that of an era and which continues to influence fashion to this day.
One of these days I’m really going to have to thank the directors of the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne for scheduling their best exhibitions of impressionist art at moments of personal celebration in my life. Last year I had the pleasure of seeing Immersed in Color: Signac’s sublime art at the Hermitage on my birthday in March. This year, just in time for my wedding anniversary in April, they very thoughtfully opened Masterpieces of the Bührle Collection, which continues at the Foundation until 29 October. It seems that our mutual timing could not be better.
The evocative and beautifully curated exhibition “A Chinese Adventure: A Swiss family in pursuit of success in the Celestial Empire” tells a story not often associated with the prosperous Switzerland we know today: that of a young Swiss man seeking his fortune in a far off land of unknown mysteries, great uncertainty and no small amount of peril. But things were different in 1859 when 19-year-old Pierre-Frédéric Loup from the Val-de-Travers in Canton Neuchâtel set off on a two-month journey by coach, rail and steamship via the Mediterranean, Egypt, India, Singapore, and Saigon to Hong Kong to join compatriot Eugène Borel in selling Swiss timepieces to the Imperial Court.
If it’s spring it’s time again for the creative extravaganza that is the UNIcréa Arts & Crafts Salon, which twice annually brings together more than 100 artisans ‘handpicked’ for their originality, passion and talent by UNIcréa founder and director Céline Dreveton. I spoke with Céline last autumn (Meet Céline Dreveton: Artisan, Entrepreneur and Creative Force) just before the Salon’s 22nd edition at the Château de la Sarraz and she impressed me with her commitment to unveiling fresh, new talent at each subsequent fair.