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Year of the Garden Gardens of the world

“Garden Year 2016 – space for encounters.” The nationwide campaign is hoping to raise awareness for the maintenance and development of public spaces and gardens. 

As part of this, an exhibition at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich is presenting famous gardens from all over the world and tells the stories of people who looked to gardens for inspiration, love, luck or sanctuary. 

The various performances and the search for Paradise form one of the central themes, as does the history of European garden culture from the Middle Ages through to the Romantic period. Located in front of the museum, an urban garden planted with vegetables and herbs draws visitors back to the here and now. 

The exhibition presents big names in art, such as the Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro, Claude Monet and Max Liebermann. Contemporary artists, such as Ai Weiwei and Wolfgang Laib, who will strew his art work on the museum floor using pollen, will also feature. 

One highlight of the exhibition focuses on gardens in Indian painting. The variety of the gardens and the close relationship that people have with nature can be seen in over 60 pictures: sumptuous palace grounds with geometric gardens, terraces that host lively debates and snug garden pavilions where lovers meet. 

(Text and images: Museum Rietberg)

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