Mission and Goal
The Museum Bellerive is part of the Museum of Design and regards itself as a place for coming to terms with phenomena between art and design. It houses the collection of applied art and has established itself in Switzerland as the museum for applied art in the areas of unique objects and limited series, with special emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the confrontation with history and the present day, an essential contribution is made towards the debate over conceptions of value, correlations and phenomena of design and art. The Museum’s goal is the development of exhibitions which are focussed in content, relevant in cultural scholarship and emotionally appealing for an open, culturally interested and also specialist public.
The Museum Bellerive presents two to three travelling exhibitions on monographic or specifically thematic areas of inquiry per year. The visitors are encouraged to gain experiences and insights by actively participating in the confrontation with themes and objects. The exhibitions are expanded by accompanying events and interdisciplinary special activities. The applied arts collection aims to become better known to a larger public through making meaningful connections between objects in the collection, simultaneously contributing towards strengthening the Museum’s identity.
Applied Arts Collection
The Bellerive Museum houses the applied arts collection of the Zürich Museum of Design, which has been in existence since 1875. Thanks to its broad spectrum and the high quality of its objects, it enjoys the reputation of an internationally significant collection of applied and fine art. The collection is made up of the areas of glass, ceramics, textiles and furniture. Our highlights – a large Jugendstil department, world-famous marionettes, twentieth-century fashion and textile art of the 1950s – substantially contribute towards the collection’s renown. The idea behind our collecting activity is the documentation and preservation of current developments – relevant for an understanding of the present time - in the collecting areas named above. We consider it a cultural mission of the Museum to attempt to do justice to the lively international interest in objects on loan.
Research activity at the Museum Bellerive is concerned with making scholarly use of the objects in the collection. Originating in the collection, thematic points of focus are determined and examined in connection with exhibition projects. The results are then published in printed form, distributed through data banks and made public through exhibitions. The collection remains as open as possible to external research concerns.
As a part of the international museum landscape, collaboration with other museums is actively carried on; exchange with universities and research institutions is cultivated on a national and international basis.
The manufacturer’s villa built by Erhard Gull in 1931 in Seefeld (Zürich) has housed – as the Museum Bellerive – the applied arts collection of the Museum of Design, as well as exhibitions connected with it, since 1968. Its architectonic character, flair and attractive location on the lakeshore in the midst of the city lend this building a special environment for its exhibitions. Its exhibition surface of approximately 400 m² is divided into smaller and larger rooms, distributed over two storeys. Objects and publications pertaining to the exhibition are on sale in the Museum Shop.