Swiss Peasant Art

Appenzell und Toggenburg «Bauernmalerei» from 1600 to1900

March 22nd - September 7th 2014, Kunstmuseum

The Kunstmuseum St.Gallen’s Bauernkunst exhibition, which is supported by the St. Galler Kantonalbank, brings together key works of Appenzell and Toggenburg folk art from 1600 to 1900, in order to highlight the development and the high level of this unique cultural heritage – even if it cannot always be comprehended in terms of names – to a few key figures from the art world.

Curators: Rudolf Hanhart, Roland Wäspe

The exhibition gives a lively insight into how the rural population chose to present their world through their painters over the course of around three centuries. Rudolf Hanhart, who was director of the Kunstmuseums St.Gallen from 1953 to 1989, is a connoisseur of this subject area. His research and thus the quintessence of his lifelong dedication to the subject flows into the presentation.

With more than fifty important works, the exhibition gives a comprehensive overview of the development of the various image-bearers, from the painted panelled walls of the earlier period, to the rich tradition of Toggenburg and Appenzell furniture painting in the eighteenth century, and on to the alpine herdsmen painting of bucket bases, cattle friezes and panel images that developed from 1830 onwards. The «golden age» of this independent, rural culture saw a folk art of extraordinary richness emerge from the Appenzellerland.

The exhibition is generously supported by the St.Galler Kantonalbank.