Visual treasures

The Prints and Drawings Department holds remarkable visual objects of many kinds: historical and contemporary prints, drawings and photographs, posters, images of historic monuments and works of art. In “Visual treasures”, members of staff from the Department present some striking discoveries and invite you to explore rarely seen or hitherto unknown marvels.


Wood – medium and motif in the work of Emil Zbinden

Throughout his career, the artist Emil Zbinden produced woodcuts and wood engravings. His works invite the onlooker to touch the wood, feel its texture, and engage with the physicality of the subject depicted.
Walty Mordschwamm

The mushrooms of Hans Walty: a feast for the eyes and the palate

Hans Walty’s mushroom illustrations inspire us to spend more time in the forest – and the kitchen. Proceed with caution, however, as not all of the mushrooms depicted are fit for human consumption!

An elephant’s capers: behind the circus poster by Claude Kuhn

Circus elephants – and their elegant jumps – live on in a poster by Bernese designer Claude Kuhn.

The Crocrodrome: the birth and death of a monumental sculpture

In his artist's books and diaries, Bernhard Luginbühl reflected on his work and friendships – including accounts of the “Crocrodrome”.

“The Jungfrau with a Japanese twist”: Hiroshi Yoshida's views of Switzerland

Hiroshi Yoshida's view of the Jungfrau mountain fuses Japanese and European traditions of landscape depiction.

Helvetia – personification of Switzerland and mother of the nation

Discover the many different representations of Helvetia from the Scheidegger collection. These depictions were particularly widespread after the federal state was founded, 175 years ago.
Gerstner Schrift

Gerstner Original: Who's the rightful owner of this Swiss typeface?

Karl Gerstner’s typographic designs form a central part of his work, but there are open questions concerning the copyright.
Kursaal Interlaken

“Switzerland – an immense Kursaal”

The spirit of the Belle Époque on paper: Paul Bouvier’s impressive original plans for the Kursaal Interlaken give an insight into leisure architecture circa 1900.
Bassetti Pugile

Two broad-shouldered boxers juxtaposed to nine slender women

In 2002, the year she made her nine “Donne di Venezia”, Ticino native Fiorenza Bassetti produced her two images, both entitled “Pugile”. A juxtaposition.
Thurston Teaser

Save the Greina! Bryan Thurston‘s political and artistic engagement

Through his artistic work and political activism, artist and architect Bryan Cyril Thurston played a major role in the Greina plateau obtaining protected status in 1996.

Last modification 29.11.2023

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Swiss National Library
Prints and Drawings Department
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 71

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