An elegant sufficiency

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bright pink, hot yellow, orange and RED!

Once we'd enjoyed our little trip across the river, we headed for our main destination today - the Vitra Design Museum, just over the border in Germany. Staying at a Basel city centre hotel meant that we were given free travelcards, valid on the buses and trams, so we haven't used the car once in the last couple of days. What an enlightened approach!

The building itself is by Frank Gehry, clearly before the metal cladding took hold. The design resulted in an interesting layout inside, though the place was smaller than we imagined from the hype.

Though there were large groups of students gathering at half hourly intervals, we managed to time our visit to avoid them all and had the place more or less to ourselves. The subject of the special exhibition,
"Living under a Crescent moon" was more than apt for us, however, and we enjoyed seeing exhibits of places familiar to us from our recent trip.

No photographs inside, sadly, but the bright colours of the exhibit were fantastic - those hot pinks, yellows and oranges just lifted the spirit from the rather grey day outside.

By the time we came outside and walked back to the bus stop, the whole place looked more cheerful - indeed, almost storybook-like!

We headed back into the Old Town then, to explore the small streets and the Münster but on the way, we were diverted into the Ethnographic Museum by another special exhibit - Red

For obvious reasons, there's always a lot of red about in Switzerland, but there's more than ever right now, because football is high on the agenda with the European Cup starting here next month.

We stepped inside the museum, up the red carpet and totally ignoring the red stop sign, through an entrance built as a huge beating heart.

This was an amazing exhibit, the only problem being that the atmosphere inside the museum was so oppressive on the warm afternoon, we found it hard to keep going! But the exhibits were remarkable and beautifully displayed in great light.

In particular I loved the small breverl or talisman, something I've not come across before and must find out more about. I also found the textile exhibit fascinating - hardly surprising, that - not only for the red dyes, garments and cloths, but also for the more permanent display of textile constructions. I made sure I noted the title of an interesting book on the subject which I will track down sometimes soon.

Again, no photos, but the website images are better than any I could have taken!

I think the Münster is worthy of another blog post all of its own!



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