Take a Holiday!

posted on | updated on | by Zuri Girl

Travel through a Switzerland of both present and past in Take a Holiday!, the Museum für Gestaltung’s latest exhibit.

This display of Switzerland’s touristic campaigns extends well beyond tourism as holiday posters and other travel paraphernalia provide insight into Swiss political and cultural life over the past century. Visitors will explore a Switzerland marketed as idyllic and later technological, traditional yet modern, and endlessly evolving. This beautifully curated showcase runs from March 4th until July 9th 2017 at the Toni-Areal (Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zürich).

Museum visitors will journey through Switzerland Tourism’s (previously SVZ) earlier marketing campaigns which featured picturesque Swiss landscapes and images as demonstrated in Emil Cardinaux’s powerful Zermatt (1908) or in Giocometti’s vibrant Viva La Grischa (1918).

Just as Switzerland transformed, so did SVZ’s promotions. For example, while the world faced a looming, global, economic and political crisis, touristic campaigns of the late 1930s boasted Switzerland’s discounted gasoline prices and accessible roads. Herbert Leupin’s Op weg naar Zwitserland (On the way to Switzerland, 1939) is a perfect example of this trend. Leupin’s poster featuring a colorful, traditional Swiss town juxtaposed against a white, dominant, winding road used the slogan ‘goedkopere benzine voor toeristen’ (cheaper gas for tourists) to lure travelers.

The exhibition also provides a glimpse into the country’s complex, even divergent views of women. For example, Albert Steiner’s Berner Oberland (1938) which portrays two women dressed in traditional, Bernese garb is in stark contrast to Viktor Rutz’s Herrliches Arosa (Splendid Arosa, 1935) which flaunts an almost bare-chested beauty as a rather seductive goddess.

In addition to the various poster campaigns, the exhibit showcases advertising films and TV adverts. Visitors get a taste of Swiss humor and sarcasm in the BBC’s Spaghetti Trees, a program that advertised the ‘supposed Ticinese spaghetti harvest’. Lastly, museums guests can voyage throughout modern day Switzerland with filmmaker and lawyer Marco Fumasoli’s 4-hour low-flying, aerial film.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see Switzerland evolve through the eyes of tourism.


Exhibition Information

Where: Toni-Areal. Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zürich (map)

When: March 4th until July 9th 2017

Cost: 12 CHF Adults / Free Children < 12

Additional Information: Museum for Gestaltung Website (#takeaholiday!)


Written by Zuri Girl, Emilia Siravo…a freelance English language teacher and researcher living in Zurich, Switzerland. Born in Philadelphia to a passionate Italian father and fiery Argentine mother, Emilia felt propelled to neutralize things by marrying someone Swiss. In addition to her work, Emilia loves going on long hikes with her husband and very active 3-year-old son, doing BootCamp and practicing yoga. Follow Emilia online on Twitter: @esiravo or read her blog


Photo Credits

Article: Take a Holiday! Herbert Leupin, Op weg naar Zwitserland goedkoopere benzine voor toeristen, poster, 1939, Museum für Gestaltung, Poster Collection, © Thomas Leupin, Basel and Charles Leupin Design GmbH, Nussbaumen

Home page / newsletter: Take a Holiday! Christof R. Schmidt, Genfersee, 2011, © Schweiz Tourismus / Robert Bösch