This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

A Brief History of Humankind


Mark Wallinger (1959, Ecce Homo, 1999. Photo: E. Posner. © Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

The title of the exposition sets the narrative structure of the exhibition. The historic artefacts recount the history of humankind from the dawn of civilization to the present. Among these objects are the first tools used by humankind, the earliest examples of the use of writing and coins, a rare copy of the Gutenberg bible and the manuscript of Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. These artefacts are juxtaposed with select examples of contemporary art that link past and present

The Rhine forever


Johann Adolf Lasinsky (1808-1871), The Rhine at Koblenz, 1828. Foto: Jürgen Vogel. © LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn

The Rhine, 1320 km, has carried only coal, building material, people, luxury goods, art treasures, weapons, ideas, fairytales and myths through the western half of Europe for thousands of years. Its course is lined by imposing frontiers of countries, cities, monasteries and cathedrals as well as by conurbations and industrial zones. It has been regulated, straightened, polluted, fought over, conquered and occupied. The exhibition heeds the history and cultural and political imperative of cross-border cooperation between the riparian states of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Following the course of the Rhine from its sources to the Rhine-Meuse-Schelde delta, the exhibition sheds light on many of the momentous and often dramatic events that punctuate more than 2000 years of cultural history.
 

Illuminated treasures of Normandy


The exposition Illuminated treasures of Normandy  (Trésors enluminés de Normandie) shows  around one hundred medieval and Renaissance works of an almost forgotten collection of illuminated manuscripts and works. The works are kept in many different archives, libraries and private collections and are not open to the public. The exhibition gives an overview of the evolution and history of illumination, primarily meant for religious, scientific and didactic books, to be followed by the interest for these works in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Illumination changed as result of the printing press, but this was just a change of technique.  

The Renaissance in European Perspective


The Renaissance was a cultural era that gave birth to some of the most important advances in human history. All these discoveries and creations would have been unimaginable without a broad and dynamic exchange across Europe at many levels. The Renaissance was an era of dialogue that extended over great distances and time. The exhibition in Zurich focuses on the question of cultural exchange processes and shows the Renaissance as a dynamic, pan-European phenomenon. Artworks, writings and instruments and objects of everyday life are displayed in the museum’s new exhibition rooms.

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