The Museum Langmatt in Baden (Switzerland) near Zürich is a relatively young museum with both a unique past and present. The Art Nouveau villa with its idyllic park was once the representative residence of the industrialist couple Sidney Brown and Jenny Brown-Sulzer. Sidney Brown (1865-1941) was technical director and delegate for the administrative board of the Baden firm Brown, Boveri & Cie. (BBC), which was founded by his brother Charles Brown and Walter Boveri.
Sidney and Jenny Brown (who had been a painter herself in her youth) had a passion for contemporary art. They first collected works from artists of the Munich Secession. From 1908 onwards they started to acquire impressionist paintings, which led to one of Switzerland’s first collections of Impressionist art. Two works of this collection, a still life by Cézanne and a still life by Gauguin, are considered the first paintings by Cézanne and by Gauguin that came to Switzerland. After the death of Sidney and Jenny Brown’s son John Brown in 1987, the villa and its collections were placed in a foundation and have been open as a museum since 1990.
Today, visitors to the Museum Langmatt can experience both the architecture and furnishings of the villa, the park and the various collections, as well as – in keeping with the spirit of the Brown family – temporary exhibitions of works by contemporary artists. The Museum staged solo exhibitions with artists such as Renée Levi, Norbert Bisky, Margot Bergman, Sandra Senn, Rose Wylie, Vivian Greven and Not Vital. There’s also an exhibition series called “Raumfahrt” (Space Travel) that presents young Swiss art.
Next up is a major renovation of the Villa Langmatt, which was designed in 1899-1901 by the architect Karl Moser. The Museum Langmatt will also receive a pavilion for events.
In this interview, the director of the Museum Langmatt, Dr. Markus Stegmann, talks about the history of the Villa and Museum Langmatt, current and future projects, and his personal background.
The Museum Langmatt. Interview with Director Dr. Markus Stegmann. Baden (Switzerland), June 9, 2021.
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