Ever since its inauguration in 1897, the Musée Jenisch has expanded its collections thanks to support from its public. The very first work – bearing inventory number 1 – is a view of Lake Geneva by François Bocion purchased by public subscription among the citizens of Vevey.
Subsequently, the museum receives generous donations and bequests, beginning with a number of paintings by Gustave Courbet presented by his sister Juliette following the artist’s death in 1877 at La Tour-de-Peilz. In the 1950s, the curator of the Musée Jenisch is François Daulte, who later becomes director of the Fondation de l’Hermitage in Lausanne and who organises major exhibitions on Impressionism and the School of Paris (Renoir, Utrillo, Vuillard, etc.).
From 1983 to 2004, the museum comes of age under the directorship of Bernard Blatter. Following extensive work carried out in 1988, the exhibition areas are cleared of the natural history and zoology collections, freeing them to concentrate on the fine arts. With the arrival of the Fondation Kokoschka (established in 1988) and the Canton of Vaud prints collection (housed in the Vevey building since 1989), the Musée Jenisch becomes one of the canton’s leading cultural institutions.
Appointed to the directorship in 2004, Dominique Radrizzani brings to bear his expertise in the art of drawing, emphasising its prominent presence at Vevey. He also initiates the contemporary art programme, with “carte blanche” exhibitions for various artists.
Since May 2013 the museum has been headed by Julie Enckell Julliard, formerly its curator of modern and contemporary art. She maintains the strategy of focusing on prints and drawings, and pursues the engagement with the role of paper in contemporary art.
Gustave Courbet, Portrait de Max Buchon, vers 1855, huile sur toile, 155 x 110.5 cm, Musée Jenisch Vevey, don d'Edouard Baer-Monnet
François Bocion, Le Port d'Ouchy, 1885, huile sur toile, 28.5 x 42.7 cm, Musée Jenisch Vevey, don par souscription (1er numéro d'inventaire du musée)
Ferdinand Hodler, L'Eiger, le Mönch et la Jungfrau au-dessus de la mer de brouillard, 1908, huile sur toile, 67.5 x 91 cm, Musée Jenisch Vevey, don des héritiers du Prof. Arthur Stoll
Cornelis de Heem, Nature morte de fruits, vers 1665, huile sur toile, 38 x 50 cm, Musée Jenisch Vevey, legs F. O. Hefti