“The ALBERTINA Museum is devoting this exhibition to one of the most important private collections of French modernist art. The Hahnloser Collection came together between 1905 and 1936, initially on the basis of close and friendly exchange between the collecting couple of Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler and artist-friends including Pierre Bonnard, Ferdinand Hodler, Henri Matisse, and Félix Vallotton. Later on, the collection also came to include works by their predecessors including Cézanne, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, and others.
Today, this immense collection contains one-of-a-kind work groups—including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper—from Swiss and French modernism, including such prominent works as Bonnard’s Reflection, or The Tub (1909), Cézanne’s Portrait of the Artist (1877/78), Van Gogh’s The Sower and The Night Café in Arles (1888), Vallotton’s The White and the Black (1913), and Maillol’s sculpture Pomona.
For Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser, collecting was a source of meaning in life—and they also actively involved those around them. They conceived of their collection, staged as a total work of art at their Villa Flora in Winterthur, as a ‘teaching museum’. The Hahnlosers motivated friends and relatives to purchase works by the artists whom they favored and also helped these artists to become well known by gifting their works to private collectors and Swiss art museums. This ‘Hahnloser Principle’ was of enormous benefit to Swiss museum collections and their acquisition policies, and it was frequently the case that these donations marked the founding moments of what would later become large modern art collections.” — Albertina Museum
The exhibition was curated by Dr. Matthias Frehner and Dr. Gisela Kirpicsenko, ALBERTINA
Images courtesy The Albertina Museum.