Home to many great artists and with its own long list of excellent museums and galleries, Switzerland has established itself as a leader in the international culture scene.
Switzerland is the home of the world's most important art show, Art Basel, which has its roots firmly in the Swiss culture capital city Basel, but now runs two other world-class art shows in Miami and Hong Kong.
In additional to its role on the world stage, Switzerland boasts fantastic museums and galleries all over the country. Each year, art and culture lovers are treated to a panoply of new and exciting exhibitions - so here's your guide to this season's best art and museum shows in Switzerland.
Olympic Museum Lausanne
Lausanne is called the Olympic Games capital since it is the home of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Museum. And as the world gears up for the 2016 Olympics, Lausanne's Olympic Museum is hosting a special exhibition — Destination Rio. The main theme not only revolves around sports and athletes but also around the culture and flavor of Rio. Visitors will discover Rio's beautiful beaches, the famous Samba dance and the city's music. All the exhibitions and events are designed to showcase the diversity of Brazilian culture. For this special event, Brazilian artists have been chosen to present their masterpieces.
Plot in Plastilin
Winterthur's Museum of Trade (Gewerbemuseum) hosts an array of temporary exhibitions, events and workshops around culture, art and design to provide insight into current issues. This year, the museum dives into the world of Plasticine — a brand of modeling clay — with a special exhibition. The material is not just for children but has been used for animation, contemporary art and design. During this unique Plasticine exhibition you will enjoy animated films such as Wallace & Gromit while experiencing new experimental short productions and advertising films, music videos, and artistic works.
Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG)
Interested in learning more about people and culture? Then it's time to check out the Geneva Ethnographic Museum - Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG) — a museum with one of the finest ethnographic collections including books, videos, music, artwork and temporary exhibitions. This year, the museum unveils a collection about the Amazon, its various populations of flora and fauna, and its cultural and regional diversities. It's a great opportunity to learn about this outdoor paradise.
Art Basel is the ‘can't miss' event for the art world. Each June, famous artists and art lovers converge on Basel to check out works from great masters and emerging stars. Covering a variety of artistic mediums from videos and photography to paintings and live performances, the show is the hot ticket in town each summer. Will you be there?
Learn more about art in Basel and Art Basel (!) in our article Old Masters and Newcomers.
The Bern Art Museum - Kunstmuseum Bern is one of the most important museums of cultural history in Switzerland. It houses archaeology, history and ethnography collections containing more than 500,000 objects from Stone Age through modern times. This year, the museum presents an exhibition centered on modern masters' collections. Many items from the collection are from private collectors and institutions who have donated artwork as a gift or as a permanent loan. Masterpieces include work by Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Marc and Pablo Picasso.
Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee Bern
The Paul Klee Centre - Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern is one of Switzerland's spectacular and breathtaking museums. While the collection of works by artist Paul Klee are front and center, there are also temporary exhibitions, music events, theater productions, readings, guided tours and even a museum for children. This year, though, nearly 150 pieces from Swiss collector Uli Sigg's "Chinese Whispers" collection will be exhibited before they are donated to Hong Kong. The works reflect modern China and are a great opportunity to learn more about the country to the east.
With international exhibitions, the Lucerne Art Museum - Kunstmuseum Luzern is one of the most important Swiss art museums. The institution focuses on Swiss art from the Renaissance to modern times and the collection is constantly growing. This year, the museum is playing host to Collectionneurs, a collection of work donated by a Genevan couple specializing in Swiss art. Their collection focuses on artists from the Romandie (French-speaking Switzerland) including works by John Armleder, Philippe Decrauzat, Sylvie Fleury, Alain Huck and Carmen Perrin.
Cabaret Voltaire Zürich
For the 100th anniversary of Cabaret Voltaire, 165 Dadaists come together to celebrate their grand master Dada. Dadaism was a literary and artistic movement in the early 20th century. For this special occasion, the birthplace of Dada is celebrating with 165 days of festivities which run until July 2016. On each day, one of the 165 Dadaists is portrayed in the permanent exhibition "Dada in Nuce." The days have different events including Dadalogy, academy, art and specials making this a unique event for learning about the birth of Cabaret Voltaire.
Find more art exhibitions and museums in Switzerland
For more information about museums and galleries, visit Museums.ch, the official website for art exhibitions and museums in Switzerland.
© Gina Folly_Kunstmuseum Basel;
© Ivo Gonzalez_Movimento nas Praias da Zona Sul/Olympic Museum;
© Brigitta Garcia Lopez_Flengel Dreamflight/Gewerbemuseum Winterthur;
© Art Basel;
© August_Macke_Gartenrestaurant/Kunstmuseum Bern;
© Café Voltaire; © Annelies Strba_Wassilissa/Kunstmuseum Lucerne;