A visit to the Romont Vitromusée has all the elements of a perfect day trip: a singular collection found in an historic setting that’s accessible via direct rail links running through a stunning, pastoral landscape. From Medieval to Contemporary times The Romont Vitromusée of Stained Glass and Reverse Painting on Glass exhibits some of Switzerland’s most historically significant and visually stunning glass objects in a 13th-century timber-beamed castle that sits amidst a medieval hilltop village, making a visit there more than just another day at the museum.
Last summer I posted about how the Théâtre de Carouge reaches out to Geneva’s international, multilingual audience with innovative new techniques and imaginative special events. Now it’s taking that effort one step further with a special performance entirely in English of a mesmerizing new production that promises to be unlike anything seen in the City of Calvin before — Cold Blood.
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.
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.
When it comes to art all you need say is “impressionist” for me to come running. Add an exhibition space in an elegant, 19th-century villa set in a wooded park with the French Alps as a distant backdrop and you’d best not get in my way as I come through. You might have guessed that I’m describing the exquisite exhibition underway at the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne until 22 May of some 140 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings by master neo-impressionist painter Paul Signac (1863-1935). His works celebrate color, light, composition and technique in that unique and breathtaking way that make impressionist canvases (or neo-impressionists in this case) so cherished by art lovers. These works transform the everyday into something uplifting and otherworldly — “heavenly” may be a better way of saying it. In Signac, une vie au fil de l’eau nature and village scenes, sailing vessels, busy French ports and serene interpretations of Provencal life (before the tourist hordes descended) preoccupy Signac’s subject matter; his love of the sea and sailing, a personal passion, is evident throughout. One room is devoted to introducing visitors to the colour theories of the neo-impressionists, featuring paintings by …
From the 10th of this month until 10 January 2016, keep your eyes open for 60 famous faces usually found only on the walls of Geneva’s venerable Art and History Museum. They’ll be there thanks to “Outings”, a global project by French visual artist Julien de Casabianca to bring masterpieces out of museums and into communities with the help of local students. The streets of Plainpalais, Jonction, Saint-Jean, les Grottes, Pâquis and Eaux-Vives will be playing host to 60 new (yet old) faces that up till now were exposed on an entirely different set of walls, those of the city’s Art and History Museum (MAH). They will be there because a posse of local 8th graders, working under the guidance of French visual artist and filmmaker Julien de Casabianca, have been let loose with their smartphones and invited to snap the likenesses of people featured in some of the Museum’s finest artworks. Add high-quality printing on a human scale and lots of snipping and pasting from 6-9 October and the young protégé(e)s and their Svengali will gradually unveil the fruit of their labors for all to admire (or innocently …