advertisement

The Rietberg Museum is the only gallery in Switzerland to concentrate on non-European cultures: it's acclaimed around the world for its art collections from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. The exhibits are housed in Villa Wesendonck, an elegant neoclassical mansion where the composer Richard Wagner once lived, with further displays in the quirky redbrick Park-Villa Rieter and a maze of underground galleries cleverly built to enlarge the museum without altering its elegant appearance, apart from the addition of a striking "Emerald" glass foyer. Villa Wesendonck contains fine examples of East Asian, Africa, Latin America, and Native American art from the Pacific Northwest, plus a stunning collection of ceramics and early Buddhist sculptures from China, for which the museum is best known. The dazzling colors of the ancient Indian paintings and the Middle Eastern textiles in Villa Rieter are also worth a look, as are the Japanese Noh masks.