I have been lucky enough to visit art museums in many cities. This is consistently one of my favorites. There are other museums that have more, but in a way that is the point. The Louvre, the National Gallery, and their like are amazing, but they are too large to really take in and emotionally digest what you find there. This is where Zurich’s Kunsthaus is different. Yes, it has relatively little in the way of old masters and prehistoric whatnot and many of the things that make other world museums so dynamic, but what it has is truly choice and can be experienced in an afternoon. It is just the right amount of beauty to be taken in, felt, remembered, and treasured.
Van Gogh, Rodin, Chagall, Picasso, Monet, Beckman, Ernst, Kandinsky, Giacometti, Klee, Rousseau, Matisse, and on and on. Just as important is what it doesn’t have: a mad crush of bodies getting between you and the experience. Most museums in major cities are in a constant state of crush, with flashing cameras and hordes of tourists mobbing a handful of well known works, making it very difficult to savor any of the experience. In Zurich, there is dignity, calm. In one room are six Van Goghs: I spent 20 minutes in here alone with these beautiful and emotionally moving works until another soul wandered in. That is a staggering luxury. I was also alone for a long time in a room with two, wall-length Monets and two Rodin bronzes. Just chilling with the water lilies.
What follows is by no means a comprehensive representation of what’s on offer here. Instead, it is a small photo essay of some of the high points for me in a recent visit. For more information, go to http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/