The E.G. Bührle Collection

August 9, 2011 by

Things To Do, Tours & Activities

by Edouard Manet, "Girl in the garden at Bellevue" - Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Founded in the 1960s by the family of late, famous arts patron Emil Georg Bührle in Zurich, and Sammlung E. G. Bührle established the Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection in order to open up one of the most important collections of European sculpture and painting in the world to the general public.

Located in a Zurich villa adjoining Bührle’s former home, the foundation contains works by old masters and towering figures in modern art (Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, just to name a few examples), but the most significant schools represented are French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Bührle procured works by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh and others. Anyone who fancies themselves an art aficionado will not want to miss the Bührle, and many art lovers travel to Zurich for the sole purpose of visiting the foundation.

Following an exhibition of works from the collection in 1990 in Washington D.C., protests and discussions in the media regarding Bührle’s role as a weapons exporter during WWII led to the formation of an independent commission which resulted in the returning of 13 paintings to descendents of French-Jewish origin.

Sadly, since an astonishing robbery in February 2008 (four paintings worth more than $160 million were taken, two of which were never recovered), it is no longer possible to see the collection without an appointment. Tours for individual visitors and groups are available on the first Sunday of every month (again, by appointment). Admission is approximately $30.

- John Reality

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