Villa Abegg The Founders’ Private Home is now a Museum – Guided Tours by Appointment, Daily from 30 April to 12 November 2023

When the Abegg-Stiftung was founded in 1961, Werner and Margaret Abegg already had plans to open their home to the public at some future date. In both period and theme, the Villa Abegg was intended to complement and augment the institute’s collections. Architecturally, the villa completed in the late 1960s follows the North Italian Baroque, as represented by the school of Filippo Juvara (1678 – 1736). The formal gardens and fountains belong to a similar tradition. The reception rooms on the ground floor are appointed with historical wall panelling, chandeliers and furniture, and decorated with paintings, sculpture and tableware. The Villa Abegg nevertheless retains the character of an inhabited home that visitors may visit, rather like invited guests, in small groups only.
Every year, these guided tours of the villa single out a different work of art or group of objects for attention.

Making a guest appearance in the museum: Silk chinoiseries These two lengths of cloth from the Villa Abegg normally hang in an upstairs room that is not open to the public. They show several unusually large figural scenes, one above the other, and presumably were once intended to cover the walls of a chinoiserie room. │ Silk, Holland (Amsterdam), ca. 1750, inv. no. 99 a–b

Making a guest appearance in the museum: Exquisite porcelain This elegant, exceptionally fine dessert service made by the Sèvres porcelain manufactory is one of several such sets used on festive occasions at the Villa Abegg. It counts among the gifts that Emperor Napoleon I had set aside for Pope Pius VII in 1805. │ Parts of a dessert service, pâte tendre (soft porcelain), France, Sèvres manufactory, 1801–1805, inv. no. 3.292.01

Spacious Entrance Hall The interior architecture of the hall in Northern Italian Baroque style quotes the grand staircase of Palazzo Madama in Turin. The inlaid marble floor finds its model below the arcades of the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

Memories of Venice Painted Venetian commodes, tables and chairs revive the eighteenth century. The furniture of this room also includes a mirror and a chandelier of coloured glass.