Local History

Entrance of the Barbier-Mueller Museum. Photo: www.barbier-mueller.ch

A Mecenas from Geneva

Josef Mueller was born in 1887 in Solothurn. At 20 years of age he made his way to Paris where he met the famous art dealer, Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939).

He acquired paintings by Cézanne and put together a collection with extraordinary rapidity that, as early as 1918, included seven works by Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso, Braque and many other prestigious painters.

He had a clear interest in the works of antiquity. The purity of line, the sobriety of form, and the apparent moderni0ty of third-millennium Cycladic statuettes had already captivated artists such as Henry Moore, Max Bill and Alberto Giacometti.

His son-in-law Jean-Paul Barbier was also an enthusiastic collector and the two collections did finally merge.

The Barbier-Mueller Museum opened to the public in 1977. The collection contains seventhousand works of art. It is one of the largest and greatest collections of primitive art in the world.

(Source and further information: www.barbier-mueller.ch).