Art, artefacts and architecture of an English church in Switzerland

Art, artefacts and architecture of an English church in Switzerland

Art, artefacts and architecture of an English church in Switzerland

1 Sep 2017 - 15:35 BY The Arts Society

Member of The Arts Society and historian, Diane Conrad-Daubrah has spent the last three years curating a fascinating exhibition at the Museum Alpin Pontresina, Switzerland entitled - NINETEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH VISITORS AND THEIR CHURCH IN PONTRESINA  - Personalities, Tradition and Architecture 1860 – 1900.

There is confusion as to how many Anglican churches were built in Switzerland between 1850 and 1914 - well over 30, paid for by British visitors and almost all designed by British architects - and the number remaining today. Diane Conrad-Daubrah has presented in an exhibition in the Museum Alpin Pontresina some well-known British personalities, ranging from actors, composers, poets and authors to scientists, doctors and mountaineers, who visited the village and the built heritage that they left behind but which sadly no longer exists. 

Before the demolition of Holy Trinity Church Pontresina in 1974, the former President of the Swiss Commission for Built Heritage Conservation described the building, constructed in 1882, as "the most important work of English church architecture in Switzerland" with an interior design which was "one of the most beautiful of the late 19th Century."

Furnishings, artefacts, stained glass and embroidered textiles were found in storage at the cantonal museum and local archive. These have been displayed, together with a scale model and photographs - including some very effective reduced-size reproductions of the church library, doors, altar, and east windows.

The aim of the exhibition is to give tourists and local inhabitants an insight into what has been lost and encourage the recording and preservation of the remaining English churches and their contents.  

Angela Goedicke, Church Recorder for The Arts Society supplied useful information on stained glass and suggested contacts for further research.  Ideas from various Children's Church Trails for The Arts Society in the UK were used to create a trail in English and German for the exhibition.

The current special exhibition as well as the permanent displays and exhibition rooms are open from from 5 June to 21 October 2017. For further details visit: www.pontresina.ch/en/pontresina/museums-galleries-libraries/

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