Saturday, May 31, 2008

More travels in scenic Switzerland

When I was visiting Bern the other day, in fact the Institute where I had been a post-doctoral fellow in 1995-1996, I decided to check out the Fine Arts Museum. It had an exhibition by Ferdinand Hodler a well known Swiss painter of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His work included landscapes of the Lac Leman region, the famous mountains, religious motifs, those of his model who later died of cancer, in various stages of her illness. Very moving indeed. I also went to the History museum where they now have the `Einstein Museum' on the second floor which is basically a reduced version of the long exhibition they had in 2005-2006 to commemorate the miracle year of 1905. As you know, he spent long years of his working life in Bern and they are very proud of him indeed. At the entrance to the Physics building there is a small head of Einstein in bronze (I think it is). Here in Lausanne I have visited the Mudac, the museum of contemporary design and crafts with a beautiful glass collection (the theme being glass as a medium of art) and also to the Elysee museum, a museum of photography. I learnt that the first photograph was taken in 1935 by someone called Bayard, following work of Arago in Paris. I have walked several time on Boulevard Arago with nary a thought of who he or she might have been! Maybe I will try once more to go to the vivarium. This time I have a printout of all the participating museums.

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