Ideas for a Myanmar Cooperation Project
The Museum Rietberg received in 2008 a collection of 1‘500 artefacts originating largely in South East Asia. The collection was donated by the late art collector Toni Gerber (1932-2010). His collection consists of terracotta, bronzes and ceramics, which the collector acquired over the last three decades. The oldest objects are antiquities, which go back to the 14th century. This extraordinary and rich collection could serve as a starting point for several cooperation projects between the University of Zurich and Mandalay in Myanmar. The following two areas of research seem to be particularly interesting to be explored by scholars from Switzerland and Myanmar.
Project 1: Toni Gerber as Collector of South-East Asian Art
One possible area of interest could be the fascinating personality of the collector himself. Toni Gerber’s life and legacy in Switzerland would be worth to document as well as his intensive trips to South East Asia. His passion as art collector, his profession, art business, biography, publications present an exciting potential for innovative research. This area of research involves questions of cultural heritage, its preservation and international co-operations.
Suitable candidates: students or scholars (sufficient knowledge of German is needed) in art history, anthropology, history, museology
Bibliography / Internet-links: Christian Denzler, With Sympathy for the Devil (Toni Gerber 1932-2010), Bern: Edition Atelier 2014; Toni Gerber, Hills and Holes, edited by Michael Krethlow and Reto Sorg, Bern: Edition Atelier 2009
Toni Gerber Ausstellung
Nachruf im Der Bund und im Tagesanzeiger
Project 2: Toni Gerber’s Collection at the Museum Rietberg
Toni Gerber’s collection consists mainly of three units (ceramics, Buddhist terracotta reliefs, and Buddhist bronzes/metal work. It would be important to document these collections since the Museum Rietberg doesn’t have the necessary resources to do it on its own. A scientific exploration of the collections, its authenticity, its provenance and origin involve extensive field work in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. Socio-cultural contexts, technology, iconography, ritual use, etc. need to be explored and documented. This cooperation project could include residencies of Burmese scholars in Zurich, who work at the Museum Rietberg. In a long term perspective the research gets visible in joint exhibition, which could be shown at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich and a partner museum in Myanmar.
Suitable candidates: students or scholars (with knowledge of Burmese) in anthropology, applied arts, religious studies, archeology, art history; museology
Online data-base MUSEUM PLUS Museum Reitberg (key word for search is TG since all objects have this in their inventory number)