Exhibition

Art, fashion and guestbooks at the Kronenhalle

Contribution by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

Contribution by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

Contribution by Jean Tinguely, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

Contribution by Jean Tinguely, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

Contribution by Marc Chagall, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

Contribution by Marc Chagall, (c) Kronenhalle, Zurich

During the 1930s, Abraham was under the leadership of Gustav Zumsteg. He regularly stayed in Paris and became acquainted with a number of influential artists, from Georges Braque to Marc Chagall and Alberto Giacometti, and famous couturiers, such as Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli and Yves Saint Laurent. These great names from the art and fashion worlds had a considerable influence on Zumsteg’s artistic creations.

In a short period Zumsteg became a key figure in manufacturing textiles for haute couture with the Swiss Abraham company.

Setting of a table in Zurich's Kronenhalle at the exhibition Silks & prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Setting of a table in Zurich’s Kronenhalle at the exhibition Silks & prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Excerpts from the Kronenhalle guestbook at the exhibition Silks & prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Excerpts from the Kronenhalle guestbook at the exhibition Silks & prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

The Kronenhalle restaurant is a Zurich institution, but famous far beyond Switzerland’s borders. Hulda Zumsteg was its Patronne, and when her husband Gottlieb died in 1957, her son Gustav regarded it as his sacred duty to help his mother run the establishment she had built up. Here he found a home for his growing art collection, which provided a suitable exclusive backdrop for the restaurant’s illustrious clientele. When a bar designed by Robert Haussmann was added in 1965, the lamps and various other furnishings were designed by Alberto and Diego Giacometti.

Between 1935 and 2002, people from all over the world paid their respects to Hulda and Gustav Zumsteg by entering their names in the Kronenhalle guestbook. Their drawings, poems, and dedications now fill ten such volumes, which together contain some 400 entries. Writers and actors, politicians and composers, scientists and fashion designers – anybody who was anybody had to be immortalized here.