Museum Marmottan Monet presents masterpiece from the Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser Collection

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Museum Marmottan Monet presents masterpiece from the Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser Collection
Vincent van Gogh, Le Semeur, 1888. Oil on canvas, 72 x 91,5 cm. Hahnloser/Jaeggli Stiftung, Winterthur © Hahnloser/Jaeggli Stiftung, Winterthur. Photo Reto Pedrini, Zürich.

PARIS.- The Museum Marmottan Monet, a museum of collectors par excellence, is presenting from September 10th 2015 to Februay 7th 2016 the most prestigious private collection of the Swiss couple Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser. For the first time in France, the masterpieces of this ensemble are shown. 75 masterpieces of Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Giovanni Giacometti, Ferdinand Hodler, Aristide Maillol, Édouard Manet, Henri-Charles Manguin, Pierre-Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse, Odilon Redon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Félix-Édouard Vallotton, Vincent van Gogh and Édouard Vuillard illustrate the story of this couple, two passionated collectors of painting, drawing and sculpture, which they enthusiastically collected during their life together, from 1905 to Arthur’s death in 1936.

Living for art. Collecting. Such was the raison d’être of the couple formed by Hedy Bühler and the ophthalmologist Arthur Hahnloser. Faithful to Hedy’s maxim of “living with our times,” this Swiss duo looked to the art of the day, assembling works by Nabis and Fauve movements. Friendships soon sprung up between painters and art lovers, and they regularly came together at Arthur and Hedy’s residence in Winterthur, the Villa Flora. The couple’s house became a place of encounter, exchange, and creation, both a haven and a studio. The portraits of the Hahnloser-Bühlers and the canvases executed at Villa Flora, which bear witness to those happy days, formed the core of the family collection. Over thirty years, the walls of the home became covered with paintings. Each room, and even the bathroom with its accumulation of still lifes, contains its share of artworks.

The exhibition offers a large selection of rare masterpieces such as La Blanche et la Noire (1913) and Le chapeau violet (1907) by Vallotton, Effet de glace (or Le Tub) (1909) and Le Débarcadère (l’embarcadère) de Cannes (1934) by Bonnard, Le semeur (1888) by Van Gogh, Amazone (1883) by Manet, Portrait de l’artiste (1877-1878) by Cézanne, Nice, cahier noir (1918) by Matisse, La partie de dames à Amfréville (1906) by Vuillard and Les anémones (1912) by Redon. Organized in different monographic sections, the exhibition illustrates the relation of the main artists of the twenty century to Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser. It recalls the story of one of the most engaged and passionated couple at the begining of the century.

The descendants of Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser have decided to reveal this outstanding collection in Paris for the first time at the former townhouse of Paul Marmottan, which, for these few months, is home to these exceptional works.

Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler, their house, their collection
Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser have created, between 1905 and 1936, an exceptional collection, made mainly of artworks by Bonnard, Vallotton and Vuillard. Major pieces of Odilon Redon, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Renoir, but also of Matisse, Manguin and Marquet define the chronological limits of this set. However, the exhibition of the museum Marmottan Monet doesn’t have for unique goal to highlight the works themselves, shown for the first time in Paris. This exhibition is also the opportunity to discover this Swiss couple and the environment around their collection at Winterthur, the Villa Flora, with its unique atmosphere and history. Collectors home by nature, the museum Marmottan Monet welcomes another collectors home, while Monet, symbolic figure of Impressionism movement welcomes Post-Impressionnist artists.

In 1898, Hedy Buhler (1873-1952) purchased the Villa Flora. Just after her wedding, she moved in this conventional house, near the old town of Winterthur, with her husband Arthur Hahnloser (1870-1936). Their collection will grow, year after year, in this unique place. In 1907-1908, in collaboration with the architects of Winterthur Robert Rittmeyer and Walter Furrer, the couple creates a custom-made living decorated with elegance and an attention given to each detail. In 1916, Rittmeyer created a lovely garden before conceiving in 1926 for the house a large room with overhead lighting.

Firstly, Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser look at the Swiss artists such as Giovanni Giacometti and Ferdinand Hodler. From their on, they start to purchase masterpieces, guided by their strong instinct. Through the influence of the painter Felix Vallotton, who lives in Paris and from who they bought some paintings since 1908, they soon look at the art scene of the capital. Enthusiastic for Bonnard work, but also for Vuillard paintings and Maillol sculptures, they are also looking for Nabis paintings, considered by themselves as the « Prophets of a new painting ». The couple often become friends with the artists that they collect and buy directly the artworks from them , following a studio visit. They also buy from great galleries owners and art dealers such as Eugène Druet and Ambroise Vollard. Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser are always looking for major pieces of the artist career.

Therefore, you can find in this collection artworks by Henri Manguin and Albert Marquet, Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne or Odilon Redon. Also, later on, they will collect works by Henri Matisse with a preference for the large formats.

In 1980, the descendents of the collectors create a foundation, the Hahnloser / Jaeggli Stiftung foundation, to preserve their inheritance. Some donations from like the Semeur de Van Gogh or La Blanche et la Noire by Vallotton join the Foundation collection and integrate exhibitions presented at the Museum Villa Flora between 1995 and 2014.

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