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Swiss Alpine museums Reinterpreting the art of the Belle Epoque

Glowing Alpine summits, steaming locomotives and gushing mountain streams dominated the tourist image of Switzerland at the turn of the 20th century. Young designers from the Bern University of the Artsexternal link have given their own take on the works of painter and graphic artist Anton Reckziegel (1865-1936).

The Bohemia-born artist, painter and lithographer Anton Reckziegel spent the heyday of his career in Switzerland, initially in Aargau and then in Bern. From 1893 to 1909 he pioneered the visual design of Swiss tourism posters like no-one else. His works showcased the Belle Epoque at its finest. In 1909 he returned to Austria and his works were soon forgotten. He forged a career as a freelance painter and illustrator.

With more than 90 works, the Alpine Museum of Switzerlandexternal link in Bern has the largest inventory of Reckziegels from the earliest days of poster art. The first exhibition at the Alpine Musuem in 1998 led to a reassessment of these works.  The illustrated book “Advertsing Art and Travel Dreams”, published in 2016, and the exhibition “Anton Reckziegel: Back to the Present Day”, took a fresh look at his works that had been unjustly forgotten. Nineteen students at the Bern University of the Arts to design their own posters meeting today’s requirements.