Poland’s richest woman funds private, underground museum in the Swiss Alps

by Luke Cloherty | 11 Jan 2019

A new museum that features five buildings connected by underground passageways through a mountains’ natural rock formations has opened in the Swiss Alps.

The project is the brainchild of Poland’s richest woman, Grażyna Kulczyk, who fully funded its construction. It will showcase pieces from her private collection, kicking off with its first show called A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, which runs until 30 June 2019.

The museum is in the historic town of in the town of Susch, which has a population of 200, and is accordingly called Muzeum Susch.

It has 16,000sq ft (1,486sq m) worth of gallery space for rotating and permanent exhibitions and also houses an academic institute that will host lectures on gender and art, called Instituto Susch.

"People here tell me they are excited that the museum is ‘waking up’ Susch and that they look forward to what is to come," Kulczyk told The Art Newspaper in an interview.

"Muzeum Susch aims to attract devoted art lovers who are ready to spend a whole day exploring and learning in-depth about the exhibitions."

The museum was designed by Zurich-based architectural practice Voellmy Schmidlin Architektur – founded by Chasper Schmidlin and Lukas Voellmy. The team used natural rock formation in the Alps as an architectural theme and has left grotto near the museum’s entrance exposed to serve as a backdrop for future site-specific installations.

Swiss Alps  Grażyna Kulczyk  Muzeum Susch  Voellmy Schmidlin Architektur 
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