Hot 5: Lucerne and Lausanne, Switzerland
By Dennis Hensley
THE ROSENGART COLLECTION
The Rosengart Collection is a 3-story art museum in Lucerne that until the late 1990's was actually a branch of the Swiss National Bank. Its founder, Angela Rosengart, is a longtime collector who inherited her love of art from her father, Siegfried, an art dealer and friend of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). As a young woman, Angela actually sat for the Spanish master several times. These portraits are on display in the Rosengart's ground floor, which consists entirely of Picassos, most from his later periods. I had to smile when I entered one particular room and discovered that paintings of two of Picasso's mistresses were facing each other on opposite walls. All these years later and those poor women are still competing with each other for attention.
Apart from Picasso, the Museum's most featured artist is Paul Klee (1879-1940), one of the most versatile figures in modern art, and a personal favorite of Angela Rosengart's. Other masters with works on display include Joan Miro, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.
For me, the Rosengart is an ideal size for a museum; large enough to feel substantial yet small and casual enough as to not overwhelm. After a rich 90 minutes of perusing the galleries, I took a short walk back to my hotel, the starkly, stylish Astoria. Nearly everything in the place is white, including the hanging light fixtures in the lobby, which--I'm not going to lie--look like sperms. They just do; Swiss sperms, which I have no problem with.
Watch Dennis's YouTube video of the Rosengart Collection: