Rietberg Museum

Zürich, Switzerland

The Rietberg Museum in Zürich displays Asian, African, American and Oceanian art. It is the only art museum of non-European cultures in Switzerland, the third-largest museum in Zürich, and the largest to be run by the city itself.

The Rietberg Museum is situated in the Rieterpark in central Zürich, and consists of several historic buildings: the Wesendonck Villa, the Remise (or 'Depot'), the Rieter Park-Villa, and the Schönberg Villa. In 2007 a new building designed by Alfred Grazioli and Adolf Krischanitz was opened – the addition of this largely subterranean building, known as 'Smaragd', more than doubled the museum's exhibition space.

In the early 1940s the city of Zürich purchased the Rieterpark and the Wesendonck Villa. In 1949 the Wesendonck Villa was selected, by referendum, to be rebuilt into a museum for the Baron Eduard von der Heydt's art collection, which he had donated to the city in 1945. This was carried out in 1951-52 under the architect Alfred Gradmann. The Rietberg Museum was opened on 24 May 1952. Until 1956 the director was Johannes Itten, the Swiss expressionist painter.

In 1976 the city acquired the Schönberg Villa, which had been threatened with demolition, and opened it in 1978 as an extension of the museum. Today the Villa is also home to an extensive non-lending library administrated by the museum.



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Founded: 1952
Category: Museums in Switzerland


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Caroline (11 months ago)
I've been happy to come back to this ethnographic/non-European art museum in Zurich and enjoyed my second visit so it's a good sign :) The historical building is nice and so is the garden surrounding the building. The exhibition spaces are underground, but the space is nice and pleasant to walk around. Good display of the collection ; and it's the second time I see a temporary exhibition here, and they were both beautiful and interesting (on Japanese art and this time on Jainism). It's been quite calm for both my visit even if it was the weekend.
Mark Kleeberg (11 months ago)
One of my favourite museums in Switzerland. Located in a beautiful park. Not too big, not too small. Priceless collection.
Otieno Okatch (12 months ago)
An exceptional small museum with a rich collection of artifacts and images primarily from Asia and Africa. The organization of the work was very well conceived and executed, and the building along with the grounds are worthy of experiencing just on their own merits. What a building! I viewed a special exhibit on Jainism and it touched me deeply. I will say I was also struck by the frequent mention of colonialism and exploitation in the acquisition of many of the marvelous works we were viewing. It is not a healing but it is an acknowledgment and that is sn important first step.
Stefan Lang (2 years ago)
Great exhibitions in a special underground museum. Located in a lovely park with old trees.
Filip Lazarevic (2 years ago)
Beautiful park in the city of Zurich, district 2, Zurich-Enge, everything looks great in the best Swiss maner, even the small restaurant with garden looks like a stage for a theater or film scene. Excellent prepared healthy food for lunch available. Congratulations.
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