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.
Although technology-driven and educational, “Nest” bursts with fun, humor and heart — and conjures lots of fond food memories — so its message is never out of the reach of even the youngest visitor. On 15 June 2016, the CHF50 million “discovery center” Nest opened its doors to the public in the stunningly renovated factory space in Vevey where Henry Nestlé invented in 1867 and went on to manufacture his groundbreaking, lifesaving powdered baby formula (farine lactée). Elements of the original factory, including metal girders, patched-up brick walls, and a looming facade that was once the external wall of the original workplace have been cleverly enfolded within a spacious, glass fronted structure.
In its just-published brochure “Switzerland’s Loveliest Museums, vol. 2” the Swiss Heritage Society introduces us to 50 art museums from different eras and all regions of the country that give us a winning combination of architecture and fine art set in a memorable context.
Ten years in the making, the newly opened Chaplin’s World in Corsier-sur-Vevey wins over visitors of all ages with an immersive look into its beloved subject’s life that cleverly mixes memories, imagination, humour and oodles of heart. In September 1952, Charles Chaplin left his home in Los Angeles and boarded a ship in New York with his wife Oona and their young children to attend the premiere of his latest film “Limelight” in London. The next day, the US attorney general revoked Chaplin’s re-entry permit largely based on the latter’s political views, which were thought to be pro-Communist. When Chaplin received the news he cut his ties with the United States and within four months had settled into the Manoir de Ban, an elegant mansion at Corsier-sur-Vevey with a 3.5 hectare estate and stunning views over Lake Geneva. “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin Here he spent the last 25 years of his life, living and realizing his creative projects in peace, accepted by the local population …
You’ll have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of the artisans of Carouge, the lovely Sardinian enclave that’s so close geographically and yet so far in terms of architecture, shopping, and “vibe” from neighboring Geneva. Many of these celebrated differences find their source in Carouge’s heyday as Geneva’s economic rival. Border trade made it a commercial hub and the population exploded (from 500 to 4,700 in the twenty years from 1772-1792) sparking an influx of diverse artisans to service its daily needs.
More than any other painter, in my opinion, the great Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) captured in his paintings the essence of his sitter’s soul. Yet to some fine art experts he was an even better engraver than painter. A stunning exhibition entitled Rembrandt in Geneva of some 100 of his etchings at the Domaine de Penthes in Pregny-Chambésy until 23 October offers visitors the chance to decide if they agree with the scholars. Whether or not they do, there’s no doubt that inspired genius pored from Rembrandt’s fingertips.
If like me you’ve been slow to fully embrace the Olympics Games after an endlessly negative media build-up however legitimate, then I recommend a visit to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to help you get your Olympic mojo back before they’re over for another four years. Informative, inspiring and just plain fun, I found myself reliving so many special Olympic moments and personal memories from past Games that I came away appreciating all over again what the fuss is all about.