Discover Germany | Issue 13 | April 2014

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Finest Art & Culture

Main image: Hodler Collection Right, from left to right: Old Masters Collection Kunstmuseum Bern

Once you start, you just can’t get enough With roots tracing back to 1809, the Museum of Fine Arts Bern is Switzerland’s oldest and largest museum with a permanent collection. Containing Swiss and international artworks from the late Middle Ages up to today’s contemporary masterpieces, the museum provides the art-savvy visitor with superb insight and inspiration. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BERN

Iconic art on display includes works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Ferdinand Hodler and Meret Oppenheim to name but a few. Only a fraction of the museum’s treasure trove is on public display; carefully preserved in the archives are around 3,000 paintings and almost 50,000 drawings, prints, photographs, videos and films. “The museum not only presents artists in a new light and develops new approaches towards them, it also picks up on social and existential themes,”director Dr Matthias Frehner explains. The ever-changing display of the museum’s stock is enriched by further temporary exhibitions, so there is always something new to be explored - even for the regular visitor. Vital key pieces are constantly added to the

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museum’s prestigious inventory. “I am really proud of our Scully collection which includes three masterpieces from this fascinating artist,” Dr Frehner reveals. 2014 marks an important year for the Museum of Fine Arts Bern as the application for planning permission will officially be given to extend the interior by a further 800 sqm of exhibition space. Visitors are spoilt for choice as there is so much to be admired. Running until 24 August 2014, the Open Sesame exhibition will showcase 140 paintings and objects from the collection of Swiss Winterthur patron of the arts Bruno Stefanini. The exhibition includes the works of magnificent Swiss artists like Johann Heinrich Füssli, Arnold

Böcklin, Angelika Kauffmann, Alexandre Calame and Ferdinand Hodler and it will be the first showing of its kind. “For the first time the Foundation for Art, Culture and History collection will be displayed featuring Swiss art masterpieces, which are absolutely ravishing,” Dr Frehner enthuses. The museum offers visitors a dynamic experience of the visual arts. The director has a passion for the impressionists, and of course: “Hodler,Vallotton, Wölfli, Klee,”he reels off a list and admits that a visit to the museum may be a little addictive: “Once you start, you just can’t get enough!”

Dr. Matthias Frehner, Director