Van Gogh to Cézanne, Bonnard to Matisse. The Hahnloser Collection 
August 11, 2017–March 11, 2018

Opening: August 10, 6:30pm

Kunstmuseum Bern
Hodlerstrasse 8–12
3000 Bern
Twitter / Facebook / Google+ / Instagram

From late in the summer of 2017 until the spring of 2018, the Kunstmuseum Bern is mounting an exhibition of veritable masterpieces by leading artists from Van Gogh, Cézanne, Renoir, and Redon through Hodler, Giacometti, Vallotton, and Bonnard to Matisse, Marquet, and Maillol. As one of the hitherto most comprehensive exhibitions of the former Hahnloser Collection, it presents an overview that brings together the important paintings, sculptures, and works on paper of French modernism and the Swiss avant-garde.

Until Villa Flora in Winterthur opens its doors again to the public, the Kunstmuseum Bern has at its disposal over the next few years the top-notch artworks of the Hahnloser/Jaeggli Foundation as long-term loans. This is an exceptional stroke of luck and we owe this honor not least to the close ties between the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Hahnloser/Jaeggli Foundation.

“Vivre notre temps” and “Revolution Coffee”
The Hahnloser Collection goes back to the accomplishments of the pioneering collector couple Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler. From 1907 to 1936, together they accrued one of the leading collections of modern art in the manor and garden that was their home, Villa Flora in Winterthur. The Hahnlosers lived by the credo of “vivre notre temps” and collected contemporary art while also being its outspoken advocates. This was not just a private passion on their part; they also avidly pursued the cause of modernist art in the public arena. Both of them fostered close friendships with artists such as Vallotton, Bonnard, or Matisse, and purchased their work, or acted as intermediaries between the artists and the collectors in their circle of friends or among their relatives. Arthur Hahnloser was an active member of the board of trustees of the Kunstverein Winterthur, and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler sent out invitations for weekly art discussions at Villa Flora over black coffee, which became famous as “revolution coffee.”

A large part of the former collection went to the Hahnloser/Jaeggli Foundation, which was established in 1980. The foundation comprises some 300 works of art—with not only paintings and sculptures but also numerous watercolors as well as drawings and prints.

The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bern
The recommended round of the exhibition follows a chronological order. The show portrays various trends in art with works from the Hahnloser Collection, private loans, and several pieces from the Kunstmuseum Bern. It covers the movements that spearheaded modernism from impressionism and post-impressionism through the Nabis group of artists to the so-called fauves. Alongside the famous vanguards of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Manet, and Renoir, the show also focuses attention on bodies of work executed by the artist friends of the Hahnlosers in the circles of Bonnard, Vallotton, Redon, Matisse, Hodler, or Giovanni Giacometti. The overall selection of works highlights the international significance of the collection.

The exhibition also gives insights into the ways in which the Hahnloser Collection is linked to the Kunstmuseum Bern. For example, the son of the collector couple, Hans Robert Hahnloser, was not only a professor of art history but likewise a member of the board of directors of the Kunstmuseum Bern. By donating pieces of the family collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern, in the 1930s he was able to convince the members of the board to expand the Kunstmuseum’s collecting activities to include also French art subsequent to impressionism.

The exhibition has been augmented with the further highlights of a film and an exhibition room dedicated to Villa Flora, where Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler created a Gesamtkunstwerk in which they combined life and art in a highly unique way.

Curator: Matthias Frehner, Director Collections Kunstmuseum Bern – Zentrum Paul Klee

Comments are closed.