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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Travel – June 2nd and 3rd – Zurich, 


Well….it’s raining.  Yes, we are used to it.  We have webbed feet and are handy with umbrellas.  We also know that a day like today (Saturday) is a good day to go to a museum.  We slept in late and ate a beautiful breakfast at the hotel.  I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.  It is well situated at the bottom of the lake and next to the old city.  And, the breakfast is awesome, not just because it comes with the room!!  (Helmhaus Hotel at Schifflande 30, am Limmatqual, Zurich, Switzerland)  No, I’m not getting any kick-backs  ;-).

Monet, part of an entire wall painting

We decided to visit Switzerland’s well known art museum the Kunsthaus.    The Kunsthaus Zürich houses one of the most important art collections in Switzerland and Europe.  The collection was assembled over the years by the local art association called Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. The collection spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, with an emphasis on Swiss art.

From the Modern Art Section.  The picture looked like a photograph, not a painting.  The picture also filled an entire wall.  If I recall it was painted in 1948.  Looks pretty contemporary to me.

The museum was drawn-up by architects Karl Moser and Robert Curjel, and opened in 1910. The bas-reliefs on the facade are by Moser's longtime collaborator Oskar Kiefer.  There is a large door called “The Gates of Hell” by Rodin displayed at the front entrance of the museum that is inspired by Dante’s Inferno.  I’m currently reading Dan Brown’s book of that name so it was of particular interest.

Gates of Hell by Rodin

The museum's collection includes works from Edvard Munch, Jacques Lipchitz and Alberto Giacometti. Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füssli, Ferdinand Hodler or from recent times, Pipilotti Rist and Peter Fischli are also represented.

van Gogh

van Gogh



The modern arts display includes a new collection comprising a selection of recently acquired contemporary photographs and prints. It brings together a variety of landscapes and nature studies by Christiane Baumgartner, Haris Epaminonda, Thomas Flechtner, Annette Kelm, Helen Mirra and Cécile Wick.

By Yves Tanguy,
This is my favorite modern painting!

The diverse strategies and techniques adopted by each artist give rise to variations on familiar images of nature. The works express concepts such as place, time and space, chance and memory; on closer examination, they also open up multiple ways of seeing and perceiving.  I enjoy looking at the old masters, but for me I liked the contemporary collections the best.  There were also a variety that included a Warhol or two and a number of Picasso's.

By Georg Baselitz,
This is the most unusual
as it's pieces of plywood
 with indentations and paint.

By Andy Warhol, second soup can.

This museum was just up the street from our hotel.  Yes, I said up, Zurich is in a valley with the river and lake at the bottom.  Almost everything else is a walk up hill, but then we are still working off our cruise calories.  We ate at a wonderful Swiss restaurant and had cheese fondue with bread.  I love cheese fondue.  So much for walking off the calories. 

John's favorite picture, by Rudolf Koller (1828–1905)

On Sunday we declared it a “sea day”.  It was still raining and we just stayed inside and caught up on blogging, email and knitting.  We walked to the lake and back and then had dinner in a nice German restaurant.  I had a wonderful beef stroganoff and John had a cordon-bleu.  Both were fantastic.  Again, we had all this within a few blocks from our hotel. 

Walking along Lake Zurich in the rain.

I love being able to spend a few days just living in a place.  You begin to get the rhythm of the city and start to understand how some of the people live there.  Just down the street the theater was showing Spamalot.  On Saturday night the streets were active with young revelers enjoying a night out of entertainment until early in the morning.  And…..the church bells rang on in early evening as the rain kept coming done.  It was a lovely weekend in Zurich!  Good night….there is more adventure to come.

Lake Zurich is Swan Heaven

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