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Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen

Lake Leman with Setting Sun, Gustave Courbet

Old Street in Nice, Felix Vallotton

The Kunstmuseum St.Gallen belongs with its collection of paintings and sculptures dating from the late Middle Ages to the present and numerous temporary exhibitions of the most important art museums in Eastern Switzerland. It is part of the foundation of St. Gallen museums and shares with the Natural History Museum St. Gallen a building. The collection focuses are Dutch paintings from the 17th century, 19th century art from Switzerland, Germany and France, Appenzell peasant art and international modern art.

The way to your own building

As the present museum building opened on 1877, on the collections could already look back on a long tradition. The beginning of this collection marked a prepared Nile crocodile, the gift went in 1623 to the city and found its place in the City Library. Subsequently skeletons, fossils, herbarium and old medical instruments were added, as well as coats of arms, coins, busts of famous men, portraits of the mayor and other images and stitches that found a home in the former St. Catherine's Monastery. In particular, in the 19th century, the number of objects grew by large gifts to such that the construction of a building for the municipal collection was planned. This was due, among other things, the Kunstverein St. Gallen, founded in 1823, organized art exhibitions without permanent house. In addition, the St. Gallic scientific society founded in 1846, the Natural History Museum, whose collection was distributed to various municipal buildings. After 1843, a first location was discarded for a new building at the fruit market, later the reconstruction of the armory at the Bohl this week, but ultimately failed as well.
Johann Christoph Kunkler New Museum St. Gallen, drawing from the 19th century

Only 1867 came together the representatives of the five institutions Ortsbürgergemeinde, Commercial Directorium, Natural History Society, Art Club and Historical Society for a conference who wanted to implement the new museum building. After the builders had in 1869 set as the location at the venue on the Brühl and Johann Christoph Kunkler an architect was selected, the Finance Committee started collecting with a call for donations to the citizens of St. Gallen money. The initially estimated construction cost of CHF 250,000 rose due to inflation within a few years to CHF 426,000, so that the municipality and the Canton pledged partial financing. 1874 began the construction of the two-story museum neo-renaissance modeled after the Munich Alte Pinakothek. On 8 October 1877 new museum building to the public opened. The ground floor was only the natural history collections are available, while the other collections shared the upper floor - this also includes top-lit rooms for the Paintings and Sculpture Collection. The constantly growing collections enough room in the museum building soon not be enough and competent for historico-cultural collection of north-eastern Switzerland Historical Society of the Canton of St. Gallen and since 1878 in charge of Ethnology Ostschweizerische Geographically-Comercielle company decided to pull their Sannmlungen in a new building , This was opened in 1921, designed by Carl Adolf Lang and Bridler & Völki in Museumstrasse 50 as Historical and Ethnographic Museum. From then was the art museum, the complete floor in the now old museum. This old building had to be closed in 1970 due to disrepair. The Ortsbürgergemeinde St. Gallen transferred the museum property due to financial burdens on the town of St. Gallen. For the operation of the three museums (Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Historical and Ethnographic Museum), the Foundation St. Gallen Museum was founded in 1978, which also includes the Kunstverein next to the city and the Ortsbürgergemeinde. After the meantime also the demolition of the old building was thinking, this could be reopened after extensive renovations 1987th Since 2009, there are concrete plans for a new natural history museum at the Botanical Garden at the Rorschacher Strasse. After the art museum stands the entire building of the Altes Museum are available.
Structure of collection
Ferdinand Hodler: Song from afar 1906

First paintings, drawings and sculptures came by chance into the possession of the city and this had less artistic value on, but were rather of regional historical significance. One of the few exceptions was this the painting Portrait of the engraver Adrian Zingg of Anton Graff that already came in 1816 as a gift from the artist to the city of St. Gallen. The earliest targeted buying a painting followed 1840, when the art association purchased the Autumn Evening at Bouveret on Lake Geneva by François Diday. During the planning phase of the museum came in 1872 with the image collection of Gonzenbach family an important donation of works by Dürer to Rembrandt in the art collections of the city.

In systematic construction of the museum collection played an important role at the beginning of artistic friendships. So found alongside works Swiss painters of the 19th century, especially painters of the Munich school included in the collection, as many artists of Eastern Switzerland had studied in Munich and there were close relations. By operating the resident in St. Gallen painter Edouard Hauser and Emil Rittmeyer came in this way in 1878 the painting bellows boys of Anselm Feuerbach to the museum. In 1913 with Susanna and the Elders by Franz von Stuck another significant buying the Munich school of a work. Furthermore, initially a focus on Dutch paintings from the 15th to the 17th century was. At the beginning of the 20th century came with the 1906 acquired paintings song remotely from Ferdinand Hodler contemporary Swiss work in the collection. It was not until 1956, the museum dedicated to the construction of the collection Bauernmalerei eastern Switzerland.

A significant increase in the museum received in 1926 with the foundation of Sturzenegger's collection of paintings. Stocks found until 1940 in the villa on the hill in the Rosenbergstrasse their place before they moved in the museum building. Thanks to a decision from the donor less significant pieces of this collection in the 1930s were sold and for example, in 1936 Camille Pissarro's paintings villa in Hermitage acquired, an image that was previously in the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Furthermore, the Ernst Schürpf Foundation since 1947 a purchasing budget available, could be acquired by, for example, 1950 Claude Monet Palazzo Contarini. There were also other foundations and donations.
Jan Davidsz. de Heem: Still life with flowers and earthenware jug, 17th century
Max Liebermann: the artist's studio at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, 1902
Claude Monet Palazzo Contarini, Venice, 1908

In the collection of the Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, there is only a small stock with paintings from the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance, which mainly Swiss painting due largely absent through the Reformation iconoclasm. Among the early works in the museum include the portrait of Balthazar of Kerpen of Bartholomew Bruyn the Elder and the painted around 1540 works made around 1538 The Way to Calvary of Herri met de Bles. An example of the early Baroque Italian painting is the oil study Saint Sebastian by Federico Barocci. One focus of the museum collection is the Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. The photo shows a still life with flowers and earthenware pot of Jan Davidsz. de Heem, fruit with parrot Gijsbert Gillisz. de Hondecoeter, old man with superimposed hands of Salomon Koninck or drinking peasants of Adriaen van Ostade. More images of this collection area are tree landscape with cows and water from Jacob Salomonsz. van Ruysdael and The canary, children playing in front of a group of Hercules Adriaen van der Werff.

Extensively also is the collection of works of the 19th and early 20th century. These include works by German artists such as rider and stable boy with hand horses before Rottach Egern by Wilhelm von Kobell, gulch with bathing women from Carl Spitzweg, portrait of Nanna Anselm Feuerbach Portrait of the painter A. Splitgerber of Wilhelm Leibl and Damenbildnis by Franz von Lenbach. Already on the transition to modernity are the impressionistic paintings Self-portrait with black hat and cane of Lovis Corinth and studio of the painter at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin by Max Liebermann. Likewise painting the landscape in the Austrian Kähnsdorf Carl Schuch is held. The museum also shows a good overview of French painting of the time. Thus, In Riva del Garda and the lake with fishermen to see into his boat and by Jean-François Millet, a male portrait by Camille Corot the images. Eugène Delacroix is ​​represented with a lion hunt and Gustave Courbet with the works of Geneva, Jura Landscape at Ornans and seashore. Works of French impressionism are river landscape with boat at Pontoise and country house in the Hermitage, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, Le jardin by Alfred Sisley and Palazzo Contarini, Venice by Claude Monet.

Among the best known Swiss artists in the museum Ferdinand Hodler belongs. From him, the museum owns the works song from afar (Version 1) and the Lauterbrunnen Breithorn (Version 1). In addition to the works of this internationally renowned artist, is building the museum since the mid 20th century to a collection of works of Appenzell peasant art. Examples of these are Senntumsmalerei Pasture under Kamor, Hohem Kasten and Staubern of Bartholomew Lämmler, Alp Wendbläss of Johannes Müller and three Sennen when Jassen and dog Franz Anton Haim.

Works by renowned modern and contemporary artists give an overview on the development of art from the 20th and 21st centuries. This extends the breadth of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and its 1918-19 entstandenem Painting Alpaufzug to Imi Knoebel's work Hello Darkness from 2001. Other collection pieces are the watercolor dancers pair of Paul Klee, the painting Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup by Andy Warhol or the installation lead spirals and iron nails lead Piece by Richard Serra. Further works are construction of six colored groupings of Max Bill, Tutto è connesso of Mario Merz, Beuys / Voice - A Hole in the Hat by Nam June Paik and The T.V. chandelier by Pipilotti Rist.

Due to the limited space situation in the museum building, only parts of the collection can always be shown. Similarly, the significant collection of prints by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn to Jacques Callot can be seen only in selected presentations. Other features of the museum also includes several changing exhibitions each year.

    Rudolf Hanhart: Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, 1987, ISBN 3-906662-01-2.

    Internet presence of the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

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