Monsters, Devils and Demons

24 May – 16 September 2018


Every culture has its monsters, devils and demons: people tell stories about them, depict them in images, fear them but occasionally also make fun of them. They are scary, but – and this is the good news – they are not invincible. The exhibition presents paintings, drawings and a few masks of monsters, devils and demons from Persia, Japan, India and Switzerland.


Bead Art from Africa – The Mottas Collection

7 June–21 Oct 2018


The exhibition on the aesthetic and meaning of beadwork focuses for the first time on women as artists. Whether in the shape of fine ornaments, impressive masks, or royal stools – bead art from southern, eastern and western Africa is admired for the delicacy of its workmanship and the diversity of styles. Manufactured in Europe for the African market from the 17th century on, glass beads are indicative of the early stages of globalization. However, glass beads never merely served decorative or ornamental purposes; the colours and designs also convey intricate messages about age, gender, and identity of the persons wearing the pieces.



ROSETSU – Ferocious Brush

6 September – 4 November 2018


For eight weeks, Japan’s most famous tiger will reside exclusively at Museum Rietberg in Zurich. The story goes that the Japanese artist Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799) painted this monumental tiger together with its counterpart, a dragon, on the sliding door panels of the Zen temple Muryōji in a single night in the year 1786. Now the entire temple’s painted walls and a number of other, awe-inspiring masterpieces by Rosetsu are being shown for the first time outside of Japan. Rosetsu’s highly dynamic paintings created with vigorous brushstrokes and sometimes with his fingers, but also his delicate compositions painted with fine brushes and rich colour are replete with energy, wit and modern appeal.