The Kunsthaus Zürich goes international.
The “Internationale Kunstausstellung” of 1925 was the first occasion when the Kunsthaus Zürich offered an overview of contemporary European art. It included such artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch and Max Beckmann. Another special feature of the exhibition was that the director of that time, Wilhelm Wartmann, deliberately invited no more than about forty artists (all of them male) so that each could be represented with a larger number of works. For him they were to be seen as “founders and bearers of art” in the previous twenty years, and today most of them still occupy an important place in art history. Henri Matisse, who was at the center of the exhibition, designed its poster. The motif of a desirous faun waking a sleeping nymph and the way it was portrayed were highly praised in Zurich, but censored in several Swiss cities, such as Geneva and Lucerne, because the subject was too indecent. By purchasing several paintings by foreign artists from the exhibition, the Kunsthaus Zürich definitively altered the course of its acquisition policy. From this time onwards, it no longer only purchased works of national provenance but also works of international artists.
By purchasing several paintings by foreign artists from the exhibition, the Kunsthaus Zürich definitively altered the course of its acquisition policy.