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Villa Abegg The Founders’ Private Home is Now a Museum Closed

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.

Carnival in Venice This miniature scene of the opening of Carnival on St. Mark’s Square in Venice is pieced together out of countless tiny glass beads. Having been successfully conserved, this exquisite mini-diorama will be presented to the public this year. | Paolo P. Veneziano, 1846, h. 42 cm, w. 54.5 cm, d. 18 cm, inv. no. 14.16.70

Before conservation A look inside the showcase reveals a sad picture: dust and dirt as well as numerous broken off and scattered parts – both of the architectural elements and of the little glass figures – mar the scene.

After conservation Thanks to time-consuming conservation measures, it was possible to clean and stabilise the mini-diorama, reintegrate the parts that had fallen off and improve the legibility of the scene.

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.