The Hahnloser Collection

From Cézanne to Matisse and Van Gogh: from the end of August, the Albertina shows the Hahnloser Collection, one of the most important private collections of French Modernism.

It really does exist. The right nose. And the collecting couple of Arthur Hahnloser (1870-1936) and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler (1872-1952) proved that in impressive style. It all began at Villa Flora in Winterthur. The young married couple moved into their new home in 1898 and started on their collection right away. Their travels always took them to Paris or the south of France. Once there they visited galleries or dropped by to see the artists in their studios. The close connection between the Swiss art lovers and their artist friends resulted in one of the most extensive private collections of French Modernism being amassed in the years between 1907 and 1936. Their friends included big names like Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, Félix Vallotton and Ferdinand Hodler. The Hahnlosers could be described as real trendsetters and pioneers. So they began, as some of the first collectors in the heyday of the avant-garde, to turn their gaze towards France. And thus laid the foundations for their collection of 500 paintings, works on paper and sculptures.

Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser also viewed the collection of art as being a meaningful mission in life. And so, with the passing years, Villa Flora increasingly became a total work of art. That is why it was also important to them to involve their entourage in their art activities. They motivated family and friends to buy their preferred artists or even helped these artists gain exposure by making gifts to other private collectors or art museums. The so-called "Hahnloser principle" enormously enriched the Swiss museum collections and their acquisitions policy for the long term.

The Albertina is now showing a condensed exhibition of the 80 most important and most beautiful of the original 500 works in the Hahnloser Collection. In the course of their collection activity, major works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec were also added. To name just two prominent works: Van Gogh's Night Café and Vallotton's The White and the Black. The artworks from the Hahnloser Collection on display in the exhibition are also placed in dialog with 20 works from the museum's own Batliner Collection.

Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse. The Hahnloser Collection. 
August 27 - November 15, 2020


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