In Situ : Revue de Patrimoines (Jul 2016)

Archéologie d’un ensemble mobilier exceptionnel : les collections du château de La Sarraz (Suisse)

  • Dave Lüthi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 29


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The castle of La Sarraz (Switzerland) houses a remarkable collection of movable objects, still unknown. It is currently being scientifically inventoried by students of the University of Lausanne. The collection – rich of many thousands items – is composed of several layers. To the pieces of furniture and paintings belonging to the different branches of the de Gingins family, gathered at the castle during the 19th century, are notably added the items bought by the historian and chatelain Frédéric de Gingins – who transformed the castle into a dynastic museum – and the contemporary works of art given to the last person who lived there, Hélène de Mandrot, who had founded an Artists’ House there: Moholy-Nagy, Le Corbusier and Oskar Schlemmer are thus neighbours to 18th century Bernese portraits and Renaissance furniture. Finally, the castle’s first curator, Charles Knébel, adds his personal paintings collection by the middle of the 20th century: neo-classical views of Rome, signed by two renowned Vaudois artists among his ancestors. The current inventory puts emphasis on the different historical layers, but it also seeks to enhance them individually as much as mutually. Indeed, the article shows that the castle’s current state, a succession of period rooms arranged since the 1920s, cannot be dissociated from the plurality of the collections.