Integration and Immigration in the Roman Empire

Affiche van de tentoonstelling. Romeins museum van Avenches en Vallon.

The whole population of the northern part of today’s Switzerland was on the move in 58 BC. The Rauraci, Helvetii and some other Celtic tribes moved to France, the territory inhabited by other Celtic tribes. They were beaten by the army of Julius Caesar in 58 in the battle of Bibracte, close to Autun, and forced back to their Swiss territories. The Swiss Roman museums in Vallon and Avenches organize an exhibition dedicated to immigration and integration in the Roman Empire. The exposition deals with all relevant aspects, such as religion, work, language and culture. Why and to what extent  is the present situation different is not the main question of this show, but the Roman Empire had unifying factors, which are lacking today.

Sculpture on the Move

David Smith, Australia, 1951. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Sculpture on the Move focuses on sculptural art between the end of World War II and the present. The exhibition on occasion of the inauguration of the enlarged Kunstmuseum Basel will map the classical idea and form of sculpture that grows more flexible and abstract as some artists integrate the trivial stuff of everyday life into their art or blur its spatial and conceptual boundaries, even as others return to the figurative tradition in an effort to set the genre on a new solid foundation. The exhibition opens with late works by Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti. It continues with a loosely chronological arrangement highlighting various thematic emphases in sculpture between the 1940s and the 1970s.

The sequence then moves to the ground floor of the new building, where sculptural works from the 1980s will be displayed, and concludes in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst with a survey of significant positions between the 1990s and the present.

Fashion and Music in the Twenties

Exhibition fashion and Musiv in the Twenties. Photo:

The Roaring Twenties (around 1920-1930) were in many respects a fascinating decade. This was a time of radically new styles in both fashion and music, and with the privations of the First World War still fresh in their minds, people were eager to travel, play sports and generally have fun. Dances with new rhythms like the Tango, Charleston and Foxtrot quickly became all the rage, while the saxophone, banjo and trumpet heralded the age of the dance band and jazz. Lyrics, moreover, could now be witty, cheeky or just plain silly. Nor did music have to be live. After all, this was also the age of the gramophone, shellac records and new radio stations, thanks to which music could be heard at almost any time of day.

Meanwhile, fashion designers were busy lending women a new look with dresses that were shorter than ever before and loose-fitting enough to show off the wearer’s suppleness and spontaneity. The show presents clothes for a wide range of occasions from travel, leisure and everyday wear to festive dos such as afternoon tea, cocktail parties and an evening at the dance hall. Add to these the many accessories, fashion plates, gramophones, sheet music, and musical instruments from the museum’s own collection and it is impossible not to be captivated by the upbeat mood of a period of extremes with its own distinctive buzz.

With its array of dresses, accessories, gramophones, sheet music and musical instruments from the museum’s own collection, the show provides an enthralling insight into a period of extremes.