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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The OTHER Picasso Museum

Pablo Picasso
in Lucerne
[WC News Service]
Lucerne, Switzerland
Many Pablo Picasso fans have already made the pilgrimage to the newly-opened Musée Picasso in Paris, and thus, surrounded by scores the artist's works, have encountered the hordes that flock to museum. Like most museums in Paris, these galleries double as tourist attractions, especially when they feature marquee artists (Picasso) or iconic paintings (Mona Lisa at the Louvre). The result are crowds. Big crowds. Sometimes, in the summer, especially, titanic crowds that can put off even the most hardy museum-goer. (Ssshh... The solution are skip-the-line tickets. Sometimes costly. But always well worth the expense).
Or, for true, die-hard Picasso dévotees, how does immediate access to one of the best, small collections of his works anywhere sound? And with no crowds. In fact, hardly any fellow museum-goers to contend with.

At least, this was my experience recently when I visited the Sammlung Rosengart, in this cuckoo-clock picturesque town mostly known for its wooden covered bridge and its Lion of Lucerne sculpture. And watches. Timepieces. Jewellery. Cuckoo-clocks.

And hordes of tourists from Asia to descend on this city to buy same.

Thankfully, this buying juggernaut is mostly confined to Old City sections and the business neighbourhood near the Rosengart has been spared. Despite its Picasso collection -- and terrific works by  Matisse, Klee, Chagall, and many others -- the watchmen haven't yet crossed the river in any numbers to invade the museum.
The following is from the museum's website:
The Rosengart Collection was originally the private art collection of father-and-daughter Siegfried and Angela Rosengart. The Collection has never previously been made available to the public in its entirety, though individual works have been regularly lent to major exhibitions.
The Collection comprises well over 300 works by 23 different "Classic Modernist" artists. It is a subjective choice, assembled "with the heart" by Siegfried Rosengart and his daughter Angela and reflecting their likes and preferences. 
Along with Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee, the Rosengart Collection puts a clear emphasis on Classic Modernism, featuring several of its major exponents and exceptional works of the highest artistic quality. The 21 artists featured who helped move art into abstraction include further names such as Bonnard, Braque, Cézanne, Chagall, Dufy, Kandinsky, Laurens, Léger, Marini, Matisse, Miró, Modigliani, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Rouault, Seurat, Signac, Soutine, Utrillo and Vuillard.
Pablo Picasso, the most thrilling artist of the 20th Century, is well represented with 32 paintings largely from his later years, thanks in no small part to the artist`s long friendship with Siegfried and Angela Rosengart. Picasso`s genius and sheer creative vitality can be further seen and felt in some 100 drawings, watercolours, graphic and sculptural works, together with spectacular photos by Picasso`s friend David Douglas Duncan. 
125 wonderfully resonant watercolours, drawings and paintings by Paul Klee form the second focus of the Rosengart Collection. The works are drawn from all his creative periods and embody all the inexhaustible visual and narrative wealth of his work and imagination.