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ART SEEN - Carnival of the Animals

ART SEEN // Style// Explore Switzerland// Art & Culture // Dec. 3, 2018

Uli Van Neyghem visits the Carnival of the Animals exhibit at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne.

Image: Painting by Hans Emmenegger at the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne


Carnival of the Animals: a colourful and mindful menagerie at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne.

Curated from the vast collection of the Kunstmuseum's holdings, the present exhibition beautifully transforms the rooms of the museum into a menagerie full of horses, bulls and goats, lions, tigers, ice bears and eagles, as well as dinosaurs and dragons. 


  • Image: Franz Elmiger (painting)

And the animals come in many forms and shapes: paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures. There are more than 100 works in total dating from the Late Middle Ages to contemporary pieces. 


  • Image: view of the exhibition with works by Brian Burke (painting) and Max Weiss (sculpture)

The exhibition is devoted to the often close, but not always simple relationship between man and animal, from farm animals to pets, in transport, war, sport or hunting, as source of food. It explores the role of animals in life, fears, dreams and art in a mindful quiet way, leaving visitors room for contemplation and thought. 


  • Image: Oskar Früh (painting)

Two haunting quotes stuck on the walls, also stuck in my mind:

'If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian' - Paul McCartney

  • 'The question is not whether animals are capable of thinking or speaking, but: can they suffer?'
  • - Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832)

  • Image: view of the exhibition with works by Rémy Markowitsch (sculptures) and Rolf Winnewisser (painting) 


Practical Details

What:                       'Karneval der Tiere' (Carnival of the animals)
Where:                     Kunstmuseum Luzern, Europaplatz 1, 6002 Lucerne
When:                      until January 6, 2019 (
Opening times:      Tuesday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00
                                 Wednesday 11:00 - 20:00
                                 01 Jan 2019 open from 11:00 - 16:00. Closed: Mondays, 24 - 26.12. and 31.12.
Entry Fees:             Adults: CHF 15
                                 Children until the age of 6: free
                                 Age 7-16 and students: CHF 6
                                 Family tickets: 1 adult + children CHF 21, 2 adults + children CHF 30
                                 Reduced tickets for seniors etc. CHF 12







Art Seen is sponsored by Africa - the Ecstatic Religions exhibition at MEG - Musée d'ethnographie de Genève. 


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