ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

Permanent exhibition
of old textiles and works of art.
Temporary exhibition 2003

Address: Werner Abegg-Strasse 67
CH-3132 Riggisberg

tel: ++41 (0)31 808 12 01
fax: ++41 (0)31 808 12 00
opening hours:
daily 2 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

entrance fees:
sFr. 5.- adults
free for children and schoolclasses

The Werner Abegg Collection

the Early Years

4 May to 16 November 2003

  The 2003 special exhibition looks back to the beginning of the Werner Abegg Collection. Persian faicences, Romanesque enamels, precious fabrics from the Orient and spledid velvets from Italy all bear witness to a young collector with broad interests who very quickly laid the foundations for a collection of global standing. He had only just turned twenty when he started collecting art, but after just a few years he already possessed a collection with clear priorities and contours. He loved the applied arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and concentrated above all on the textile arts from classical antiquity through to the eighteenth century.
  In 1939 Werner Abegg decided to move from Turin to New York to escape the impending war. He was only thirty-six years old, but could already look back on more than a decade of successful collecting. these early years set important markers for the orientation and character of his collection.

The Abegg-Stiftung in Riggisberg is an arthistorical institute primarily dedicated to research in the field of historic textiles. The galleries show mainly works of applied art as well as a smaller number of major paintings and sculptures. Textiles while forming the main emphasis, are paired with works of decorative art. Every year a special exhibition gives an insight into the large collections.

The young Werner Abegg liked to acquire works from well-known collections. He purchased a number of enamel pieces from the Zurich collection of Alfred Rütschi, which was renowned as a specialist collection of goldsmithery, while other works came from the famous applied arts collection of Albert Figdor in Vienna.



The most significant acquisitions of the early years include a cope from Salzburg Cathedral, as well as a mitre and a medieval chasuble from St.Peter's in Salzburg. They found their way into the art market during the early 1930s when the economic crisis forced many churches to sell works of art.

Apart from textiles, the collection also includes some important Romanesque champlevé enamels and medieval and renaissance bronzes, as well as painting and sculpture, revealing a special interest in works whose production demands high standards of technical craftmanship.







home content Last revised April 22, 2003 For further information contact Anne Wanner