It was like spring this week in Switzerland, and it was very pleasant to be outside. Wednesday we went to see the Rhine falls near Schaffhausen. There weren’t many people around. We walked across the railwaybridge to the other riverside for lunch in Neuenhausen. Along the right bank is a footpath with nice views of the falls. On the left bank, where we parked, the access to the viewpoints requires buying tickets. Looking around on the map where to explore next we spotted a photo museum in nearby Winterthur but it was between expositions. Instead we decided on visiting the Beim Stadthaus location of the Winterthur Kunstmuseum which has a collection of 20th century art.
We had the museum entirely to ourselves. We were the only three visitors. To enjoy at our leisure a wide range of works. It was great. In the 1916 museum building which also houses the natural museum, the halls are a bland beige and the works are presented without context, almost without information even. Just a name and a date. Being in there alone felt like discovering a forgotten wing of an old building that happened to have all these beautiful works of art in them. Or like being in a school building after hours when everyone else is gone. Being the only one in what is normally a frequented public building. Like you’re not supposed to be there, to have some personal time with all these works of art.
Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, Giacometti, Calder, Arp, Mondriaan, Picasso, Braque and many more. Just us three to enjoy them, stand up close, talk about them. Walk away, come back to compare. Watch for a long time. No one also wanting their turn to look from the best angle, or trying to get a better picture.
Normally on public display, it became a fully private visit, which made it a very different quality of experience.
Who knew Winterthur held these unexpected treasures.