The exhibition focuses on various - also contradictory - perspectives on the historical context in which the arms manufacturer and patron Emil G. Bührle built up his collection: it highlights the biographies of former owners of individual works, whose sale took place under questionable circumstances, and the question of how a differentiated approach to history can succeed in the immediate present.

What will you learn in this exhibition?


Exhibition ticket or Collection PLUS ticket: 23.–/18.–* (concessions and groups)
Free admission for members, children and young people under the age of 17.

Note for groups

We look forward to welcoming you to the Kunsthaus. For organizational reasons, prior registration is required. 44 253 84 84


The Emil Bührle Collection contains many unique works of great art-historical value. At the same time, it is extremely controversial owing to the way in which it was acquired. This conflict needs to be acknowledged. The Kunsthaus Zürich believes that this collection should be displayed: The works themselves are in no way implicated in the unimaginable crimes committed by the National Socialists. They do, however, bear witness to them. They can encourage us to commemorate the victims of Nazi terror, remember their fates, and reassess Switzerland’s role in the Second World War.

The exhibition is a first step in an extended process. It raises questions, but can only begin to provide answers. It outlines the historical context in which the Emil Bührle Collection was assembled and reveals the close ties between the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft and Emil Bührle. It shows the current status of provenance research into the history of some works that were owned by Jewish collectors who fell victim to Nazi persecution. The Kunsthaus wants to talk about these issues.


The exhibition proceeds in three phases. After opening in November 2023, it will go into greater depth in terms of content in spring 2024, with additions including a programme of accompanying events. A third phase will follow the publication of the final report by the historian Raphael Gross in summer 2024, who is currently reviewing the provenance research carried out by the Foundation E. G. Bührle Collection.

The exhibition begins in the past and ends with questions about the future. A range of opinions are presented in audio and video statements. We would also like you to tell us what you think and feel. The digital visitor survey and the wall in the last room of the exhibition, where you can place your questions and opinions, are your opportunity to do so. In this way, you will become part of the process in which the Kunsthaus is re-examining its role in society.


You can 'tour' the exhibition online in advance with our Vistor Guide.


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