London, United Kingdom
August 14, 2003
Until November 2000, the national art collection was located in a former casino. The move to a modern purpose built home came about due to an initiative from the country's current monarch, Prince Hans Adam. When parliament initially objected to the idea, he simply dissolved the institution and continued anyway! The young Swiss grouping of Morger, Degelo & Kerez won an international architectural competition during the late 1990s, therefore earning the honour of designing the new edifice.
The result is an attractive building constructed using polished dark concrete, which could almost be described as a square monolith in appearance were it not for the presence of several large windows. There are six decently sized exhibition rooms inside the two-storey edifice, all of which have a sensibly understated décor.
One reason that the prince has taken such an interest in the establishment is that a significant proportion of the works displayed are part of what he and his family have impressively accumulated over the years, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Jan Steen. However, since the founding of the original museum over three decades ago, there has been a changed of emphasis, as those in charge have focused on acquiring more recently created items. Exhibited are works by a range of leading artists from Hans Arp and Salvador Dalí to Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, which together represent almost all of the last century's important styles, such as cubism, minimalism and surrealism.
Admission to the museum costs around a little less than 10 francs, and it is open all through the week, except for Mondays. There is a small shop, as well as a pleasantly furnished café that serves all of the usual fare, but additionally specialises in sushi, and entry to both is free and separate from that to the gallery itself.
From journal Vaduz - The diminutive capital of tiny Liechtenstein