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“What a Treasure!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Museum of Art and History

Museum of Art and History
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Geneva Pass
Ranked #19 of 145 things to do in Geneva
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built between 1903 and 1910 by Genevan architect Marc Camoletti, with the aim of regrouping under one roof a number of dispersed public collections, the Musée d'art et d'histoire is one of Switzerland's most important encyclopaedic museums. Boasting over half a million objects including a number of major works and unique series that have made it an institution of international stature, the museum maintains a permanent exhibition of a selection of itsapplied arts, fine arts and archaeology collections. Regional archaeological discoveries, Egyptian and Classical antiquities, artworks, furniture, arms, musical instruments, paintings and sculptures all bear witness to 15,000 years of history. A renovation and enlargement project is currently underway and constitutes one of the major challenges facing the Museum over the coming years.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
93 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“What a Treasure!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

From Monet to Midiviel Armour, this place has it all....for Free!! No crowds, no line to get in. Beautiful, well maintained building! This is a great spot for kids and adults alike!

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Lobonness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
104 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

I see some reviewers that criticize the museum are comparing it to other museums in Europe. As I've either not been to other museums in Europe or can't remember what they were like anymore, I don't have anything to compare to, so that's something you have to consider before reading the rest of this review.

I think the museum was great. Firstly, its completely FREE, in a city where everything seems to be super expensive. Secondly, the museums I've been to so far in my part of the world are nothing compared to this museum, also, I've had to pay for entry to most museums I've visited (are they mostly free in Europe?). Thirdly, I really enjoyed all the exhibits and spent a really really long time there. The only complaint I have is that I was a little bit sad that all the explanations were in french, even the leaflets on the side of the walls. I wanted very much to learn more about what I was looking at and I could only try to decipher the french text and guess what was going on.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank 555_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Some good pieces”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

The Geneva Museum of Art and History is housed in a fine neoclassical building about 1 km south west of the famous landmark Jet d"Eau.

As many reviewers have already commented, the collection is not as rich as one would have hoped and the staff are somewhat aloof. However it is not completely unexpected if you think about how great collections are formed. First method is through hundreds of commissioning great artists eg the royal collections of Europe forming the likes of the Louvre or the Prado (usually by force). The second method is making a serious fortune, buying up everything in sight and donating (for tax or vanity purposes?) eg Lehmann or Mellon collections.

Switzerland has a long history of democracy and egality so the first method was not possible. Also I am sure that there are good private collections, with the favorable tax laws, probably do not need a big write off. Also the Swiss are the least vain people. This is why I think that there is no grand public museums or public buildings in Switzerland. Obviously this does not explain the staff issue but that is another story.

Nevertheless there are some interesting pieces at Museum of Art and History. My favorite is the The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Konrad Witz, which I think is one of the most important in the history of Wester art. It is not the most polished piece and in terms of draughtsmanship, it compares poorly with Witz's contemporaries such as Van Eyck or Fra Angelico. However there is some technical mastery. The rendering of the reflection on the water shows quite advanced understanding of optics and the lack of reflection of the figure of Christ is thought provoking.

Also this piece is recognized as being the earliest with landscape based on actual geography. Also the portrait of the secondary figures are somewhat cartoonish but based real people, the sort that you find in shops or bars. Sacred art but within a familiar context is quite a statement for the time.

The museum is free and not far out so it would be worth a visit just to see this picture.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank E150A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Art without the crowd”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

As this was one of the few art galleries open on a Monday, we went!! Very glad we did as it contains paintings of our favourite Impressionist artists - Monet, Cezanne and others - and we were the only ones there!!
Also local artists of course plus sculpture , industrial arts and the full gamit of a large gallery.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Lyn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
64 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

A lovely museum so much to see and take in well worth a visit. Our guide said it opened at 10 am but seems now to open at 11 am may be just a weekends. A very difficult place to find my advice go through the Old Town and the you need to take the steps down to road level to find the entrance but it is worth it.

Visited May 2014
Thank ManleyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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