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The Münzkabinett Winterthur celebrates its 150th Anniversary (1861-2011).

February 17, 2011 – On April 29th, 1861, a young merchant’s son, Friedrich Imhoof-Blumer, became the keeper of the coin collection in the municipal library of Winterthur. That collection has since taken on a life of its own and is now known as the “Münzkabinett” (‘Coin Cabinet’). Although it started life within the library, the collection became an independent institution after its transferral to the Villa Bühler in 1862.

150 years have since passed, and the Münzkabinett, which also includes the antiquities collection of Winterthur, is now an active museum with an internationally renowned collection. It hosts exhibitions documenting numerous topics relating to the cultural history of money and also offers museum educational services at all levels. It provides a contact point for scholars and also has an energetic research agenda of its own. This anniversary provides the Münzkabinett with an opportunity to look back at its distinguished past, present its current work to a wider audience and to contemplate what the future may hold in store.

The celebrations commenced on January 2nd with the minting of the first examples of the anniversary medal. On 22nd January, the exhibition, “150 Jahre Sammeln- Geschichten und Höhepunkte”, documenting the history of our institution, opened. Our other exhibition, “Gold und Silber- Neues Geld im Spätmittelalter”, documenting the development of new forms of money in the late medieval age, is still running. Both exhibitions run until September 2011.

Villa Bühler, the romantic location of the Münzkabinett Winterthur.

Villa Bühler, the romantic location of the Münzkabinett Winterthur.

The anniversary exhibition discusses the history of the institution, and focuses on ten key developments. These include the work of Imhoof-Blumer, and important donations, such as those of Carl Hüni in 1941 and Gotthold Lessing in 2005. We tell the story of the project to move the collection into the old town hall, which was never actually realised, and present the aims of our current collecting activities with reference to the work of the medallists Aberli.

The Münzkabinett Winterthur disposes of beautiful exhibition rooms.

The Münzkabinett Winterthur disposes of beautiful exhibition rooms.

A rich array of events and guided tours will accompany this anniversary year. The guided tours will be led by the museum staff and will cover a variety of interesting themes. A concert will be held in the museum rooms on June 19th, and on 2nd July we will celebrate with a big summer festival in the park surrounding the museum.

This autumn heralds a new and exciting project: on November 3rd, in collaboration with the Münzkabinett of the Kunsthistorischen Museum Wien in Vienna, we will open an exhibition on Greek coinage. In addition, the third volume of our museum catalogue on Greek coinage will be published towards the end of the year.

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