Collection of Prints and Drawings - ETH Zurich

 

in short

The collection of prints and drawings of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) was established in 1867 and it comprises works from the fifteenth century to the present. It is largest collection of its kind in Switzerland.
Südwestflügel des Hauptgebäudes der ETH Zürich mit der Graphischen Sammlung im Hochparterre
© Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich

Collection of Prints and Drawings - ETH Zurich

in detail

History of the Collection

The Collection of Prints and Drawings ETH Zurich was established in 1867 at the then-Polytechnikum by Gottfried Kinkel, Professor of Archaeology and Art History. The foundation of its holdings was the purchase of the Bühlmann collection in 1870. The Swiss painter Rudolf Bühlmann (1812-1891) had for more than three decades lived in Rome, where he assembled approximately 11,000 single leaf prints and 150 bound volumes of prints.

The most valuable addition to the collection was the contribution of the Zurich banker Heinrich Schulthess-von Meiss (1813-1898) of more than 12,000 precious prints, ranging from Schongauer to Rembrandt.

The collection has been open to the public since 1891. In April 1924 (thirty years later) the newspaper "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" reported that the most important artistic event of the spring season was the opening of the newly-organised ETH prints and drawings collection. At the time the storeroom also functioned as an exhibition space, and the former reading room of the institute's library was transformed, at minimal cost, into a large study room. After World War II this room was converted into an exhibition area. In 1994/1996, after more than seventy years, the rooms were renovated up to present-day conservation and security standards; at the same time the work areas were improved.

Through its continuous acquisition policy and numerous donations over the years the collection has far outgrown its original size. Today it comprises approximately 160,000 prints and drawings (with concentration on prints) from the fifteenth century to the present, making it the largest collection of its kind in Switzerland. Its special focus is Swiss graphic art, the development of which cannot be studied in such detail in any other Swiss collection.

The collection's present acquisition policy ensures the growth of its main areas and the establishment of new ones. Emphasis is on the acquisition of graphic art from the last three decades, of which the works of Dieter Roth, Bernhard Luginbühl, Urs Lüthi, Franz Gertsch and Blinky Palermo have received special attention.

Because of the materials of which they are made, these light- and temperature-sensitive works can only be displayed in short-term exhibitions, or are available for individual inspection in the study room.
ETH-Hauptgebäude
Admission
Freier Eintritt. Entrance free
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Visitor entrance

ETH Zürich Main Building
Rämistrasse 101, Eingang Karl Schmid-Strasse
8092 Zurich
Switzerland
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Opening Times

Sun
10:00 - 16:45
Mon
10:00 - 16:45
Tue
10:00 - 16:45
Wed
10:00 - 16:45
Thu
10:00 - 16:45
Fri
10:00 - 16:45
Sat
10:00 - 16:45
geschlossen:
Nachmittags an den lokalen Feiertagen: Sechseläuten und Knabenschiessen, ganztags an den Oster- und Pfingstfeiertagen, an Auffahrt, am 1. Mai und 1. August (Nationalfeiertag) sowie am ETH-Tag und am Tag nach dem Polyball, ebenso zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr vom 24. Dezember 2016 bis 2. Januar 2017.

Studiensammlung und Präsenzbibliothek: auf Voranmeldung Mo - Fr 14-17 Uhr zugänglich.

closed:
in the afternoon on the local holidays 'Sechseläuten' and 'Knabenschiessen', on Easter, Ascension Day and Whitsun, and on May 1 and August 1 (national holiday) as well as on Dies Academicus (ETH Day) and the day after Polyball (annual student ball), and between Christmas and New Year from December 24, 2016 to January 2, 2017

study collection and library (non-lending): open by appointment from Mo - Fr from 2pm - 5pm

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