Michel the Glazier, Heraldic panel of Savoy, 1452/1460, on deposit from the Gottfried Keller Foundation
The fascinating history of the development of stained glass is presented in a permanent exhibition of key works. The visitor follows a path leading past archaeological fragments from the 5th century AD, via masterpieces of the medieval, Renaissance, Historicist and Art Nouveau periods right up to modern and contemporary artworks in glass. Although the names of the artists who designed the oldest pieces of stained glass are generally not known, later works often can be attributed to well-known workshops or artists: among them, to name but a few, are the workshops of Dirk Vellert (16th century), Gustav van Treeck (19th century), and Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the artists Alexandre Cingria, Léon Zack, Alfred Manessier, Yoki, Augusto Giacometti, Brian Clarke, and Linda McCartney.
Among the jewels of the museum’s collection, the visitor can admire stained glass from Chartres Cathedral, as well as a work by Marc Chagall – one of the rare panels by him not to be installed in a building. This glass is also the subject of a documentary film, a touching testimony to the collaboration between this famous artist and his master glaziers.
The stained-glass collection is one of the Vitromusée’s principal focuses, and it offers a wide panorama of the art form, covering everything from standalone artworks to stained-glass windows from architectural contexts, both sacred and secular, the majority of them Swiss. In addition, there are several thousand fragments of ancient windows and glazing schemes, as well as collections of works of art in glass.