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“A must see in Zurich”
Review of Rietberg Museum

Rietberg Museum
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$18.82*
and up
Museum Rietberg Zurich Entrance Ticket
Ranked #13 of 225 things to do in Zurich
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This art museum is the only art museum in Switzerland that focuses on non-European art, and has a substantial collection from Asia, America, Africa and Oceania. It's also located in one of Zürich's most beautiful parks.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

The Rietberg is a wonderful museum that has one of the BEST collections of Chinese ceramics in the world. From neolithic pots to Tang camels, this is an absolute treasure trove of masterworks, all elegantly displayed in a way that gives every piece room to breathe and places them in interesting figurative juxtapositions. The breadth and depth of the Rietberg's Chinese works achieves its superlative quality because of the recent generous gift of the extensive Meiyintang Collection, which was one of the most significant of its kind in private hands.

There is also a fabulous Shiva Nataraja and and some other notable Chola bronzes. There is also a delightful cafe and a lovely park location to add to the overall aesthetic experience.

3  Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 - 131 of 352 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2013

Having lived in Paris and New York, I can honestly say that this beats both of them for Asian and South American art. There is a pamphlet that provides information for each room, which has some fascinating insights. For example, Buddha was not actually directly represented in sculpture for many years, until certain schools started to show him in the now traditional seated pose with the iconic robes and hairstyle. Based on those markings, it appears that they were actually influenced by Roman and Greek art!

Other highlights include superb Chinese figures and pottery; rare Indonesian objects that echo Oceanic art; and extremely entertaining Swiss masks that were used in festivals to caricature neighbors, with frequently comic and grotesque effect.

Last, but certainly not least, is the MIND-BLOWING temporary exhibition on the Chavin temple in pre-Incan Peru. I have almost no words; you simply have to see it. Just be prepared to transport yourself into the body of a warrior, trecking on pilgrimage up a dangerous mountain, where men turn into Jaguars by walking through an internal maze and meeting an Oracle.

1  Thank No t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This was a wonderful way to take a break from all the beautiful art.
The food was good and quick and a delightful break

Thank 169worldtraveler430
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Located in Rietburg Park south of the historic center on the western shore of Lake Zurich, the museum is easily accessible by local team/bus lines from the center. A mini-complex centered on two XIXth century villas hosts a fine representative collection of art ex-Europe. Villa Rietberg hosts Indian painting of high quality from a number of schools (apparently rotating from a much larger collection). Villa Westerdonk has fine examples of Oceanic, Asian, Latin American (pre-Colombian) and North-west Native American art. The basement with "visible archive" of added examples was great. A much newer building (the "Emerald") has African and East Asian art. Grounds are very nice, though it was drizzly when I visited. Also important for Wagnerians as he apparently was connected with the property during an important part of his career.

2  Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

MUSEUM RIETBERG, ZURICH
It is said to be the “only museum in Switzerland featuring non-European cultures”, and has a large collection of artifacts from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. Its exhibition galleries as well as its facilities like the Museum shop, café, studio, and auditorium, are located in a number of separate buildings, located on lovely well-manicured lawns. The exhibits are from India, China, Japan, Tibet, Indonesia, Mexico, and Peru, as well as from several African countries like Gabon, the Cameroons, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mali.
Among the Chinese artifacts on display are decorated bronze ritual vessels from the Shang period (1600 to 1100 BC) for performing funeral rites. These were recovered from graves. Tang Dynasty clay figurines featuring horses, camels, dancers, and the like came from Chang’an – at that time the largest city in the world, with a population of over a million.
From Japan came Surinomo woodblock prints – luxuriously printed cards that were often offered as New Year gifts. Masks from the Noh Theatre feature deeply concealed emotions such as despair and jealousy. These are cleverly crafted and the same masks can project different feelings at different times.
From the Democratic Republic of Congo came the court artifacts of the Luba princes. These include decorated thrones, spears and axes, as well as amulets of elephant or warthog tusks. Basonyi masks are large, serpentine head dresses, 2 to 8 m high. Dogon sculptures from Mali are used to pray for rains, in the hope of avoiding famine. Two of these at the museum are said to date back to the 13th or 14th century, and are “among the oldest wooden preserved sculptures from Africa”.
Indian paintings on mythological Hindu themes have a separate building to themselves. There are also Chola Dynasty sculptures (850 to 1100 AD) that had once adorned Hindu temples. They represent Hindu Gods like Bhrama the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, Shiva the Destroyer and Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom.
Mayan artifacts from Central America show life at the royal courts, and recount historical events.
This is a small and stray sampling of the invaluable artifacts on display at Museum Rietberg. It is one of the finest European museums on non-European cultures.

1  Thank Hormuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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