Connected to the quintet of the Museums of Art and History, the Rath is a must in terms of temporary exhibitions of great scale. In 1826 it was inaugurated, at the request of the two Rath sisters, Jeanne-Henriette and Jeanne-Françoise, who bequeathed the legacy of their deceased brother to the city of Geneva. The first Swiss museum of fine arts, the august neoclassical columns of the building envelop a heavy door that dominates one of Geneva’s most symbolic squares: the Place Neuve. Ok fine, Place-de-Neuve, for the picky ones. In a few steps, one discovers the statue of General Dufour to dada on his steed, musical notes exhaled by the conservatory, the inescapable Parc des Bastions and its oversized chess-boards, or the dust from the Grand Théâtre, being refurbished since early 2016. In short, history, culture, nature and construction work.
From Swiss and international art, to archeology, the Rath’s programming is evidently faithful to the lineage of the Museums of art and history: familial and popular. Its latest exhibition, Le Retour des ténèbres (the return of the shadows). L’imaginaire gothique depuis Frankenstein (gothic imagination since Frankenstein) retraced the memories of legendary figures of modern gothic culture, through vampires and Frankenstein’s character. You probably already know this, it was in fact in Geneva, during the summer of 1816, that these creatures came to life in Lord Byron and Mary Shelley’s (dark?) imagination. These two British writers were vacationing on the banks of our dear old Lac Léman.
Summer is fast approaching and there is nothing like the coolness of a museum to taunt the heatwave. The TPG lines leading to the Rath museum are: 3, 5, 12, 14, 18. There are currently no exhibitions scheduled, but it won’t be long.
Meanwhile, Place de Neuve awaits your visit. It is beautiful by day and by night. Give a hug to Catherine for me.
Photographie © Julien Herger, My Big Geneva
Place Neuve, 1204 Geneva
Tue to Sun, 11am to 6pm (closed on Mondays)
Exhibitions: 10.- or 20.-
Free entry to under 18s and on the first Sunday of the month