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Kunsthaus Zürich

Welcome

Dear visitors

When the Kunsthaus extension by David Chipperfield opens, one of its new residents will be the Merzbacher Collection. As you may recall, we staged a memorable presentation of this world-famous ensemble some years ago. With around sixty dazzling masterpieces of Classical Modernism by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Derain, Miró, Kirchner, Jawlensky, Nolde, Münter, Modigliani and many others – all acquired by Werner and Gabriele Merzbacher over the decades in their quest to assemble a ‘feast of colour’ – it promises to be yet another highlight in the new building. The Merzbacher Collection is also a perfect fit for the Kunsthaus’s own holdings and, with its many works of French modernism, complements the Impressionists from the Bührle Collection that will likewise be moving to Heimplatz. The long-term agreement between the Kunsthaus and the Merzbacher family is a major gain for Zurich and a demonstration of great trust in our institution. Werner Merzbacher arrived in Switzerland with his brother in 1939 as a Jewish refugee and, after an extended period in the United States, came back and made his home here.

We are indeed fortunate that, after much deliberation, Werner and Gabriele Merzbacher have decided to keep their collection in Zurich and open it up to the public, not least as a mark of their gratitude to Switzerland. The new honorary members of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft both celebrate their 90th birthdays this year, and on behalf of the Kunsthaus we would like to thank them for their friendship and their extremely generous gesture. We congratulate them on reaching this milestone and offer our sincere thanks to two wonderful people for their decision to present us all with a feast of colour!

And there’s more cause for celebration: the Kunsthaus is to receive a group of paintings by Johan Christian Dahl (Bergen 1788–Dresden 1857), the most important Romantic landscape painter after Caspar David Friedrich. This magnificent gift comes courtesy of the Norwegian entrepreneur and patron Christen Sveaas, and from 7 September you’ll be able to admire the pictures in a specially installed gallery. Meanwhile, come and join us on a journey to Paris, the City of Light and Lights, and into the world of Robert Delaunay…

Christoph Becker

Christoph Becker
Photo © Severin Jakob
Christoph Becker
Photo © Severin Jakob