Devoted entirely to the glass arts, the Vitromusée in Romont houses, manages and showcases important collections that bring together stained-glass windows, reverse paintings on glass, objects in glass, and graphic works, as well as tools and materials related to the glass arts.
Exhibitions Permanent exhibition at the Vitromusée
The fascinating history of the development of stained glass is presented in a permanent exhibition of key works. The visitor follows a path leading past archaeological fragments from the 5th century AD, via masterpieces of the medieval, Renaissance, Historicist and Art Nouveau periods right up to modern and contemporary artworks in glass.
At the present time, there is no museum in Switzerland or anywhere else, nor any private collection that houses such an important collection, of reverse paintings on glass, in terms of quality, variety and quantity, as the Vitromusée in Romont. The collection of Ruth and Frieder Ryser, which was bequeathed to the Vitrocentre for research purposes, constitutes the majority of the reverse glass paintings on display.
Glass is omnipresent in our daily lives, and has been so for millenia. Decorative and functional objects in glass became part of the Vitromusée’s collections for the first time in 2006, when the museum received a legacy from Ruth and Frieder Ryser; further donations were made in 2015 and 2016 by Joseph Arnoth. The Vitromusée also owns a selection of artworks in glass from the Saint-Prex glassworks, to which has been added recently an important collection of blown, moulded and pressed glass. This domain of the glass arts will gradually become part of the museum’s displays, with a whole new section being given over to it. Several examples are already presented online on the database vitrosearch.
Graphic works relating to the glass arts constitute the most substantial part of the collections housed at the Vitromusée. They consist mainly of preliminary works from the holdings of studios and artists. There are sketches notable for their freshness, carefully worked up miniature models, and designs and cartoons abounding in detail that bear witness to the artist’s labour prior to the execution of a window by a glass-painter. Key items are displayed on a rotating basis.
The Vitromusée houses around 500 tools and specimens relating to the glass arts, a collection that is unparalleled at a national or even an international level. In the museum’s studio, visitors will be able to discover diamond cutters, lead mills, kilns, heating vessels, vitreous paints, brushes, moulds for lead calms, and many other tools. All of these are rare and precious testimonies to the technologies and bodies of knowledge that are gradually being lost.
Proposed by Vitromusée Romont