The Society, which became a foundation in 2007, was created in 1868 on the initiative of a middle-class and intellectual elite from Vevey, with the aim of "encouraging the taste and practice of the fine arts, and more particularly of painting, sculpture and architecture" (Article 1 of the 1868 statutes). To this end, it undertook to support the teaching of drawing in schools and to participate in art exhibitions in Vevey. Lastly, it hoped one day to be able to erect a building capable of serving the aims it had set itself. In this way, it will play a fundamental role not only in the history and the construction of the Musée Jenisch, but also in the building of its collections.
In addition to partially financing the purchase of the land on which the future building would be built, the Société des Beaux-Arts de Vevey obtained the agreement of the Municipality and the executors of Fanny Jenisch’s (1801-1881) will to include a room dedicated to the teaching of drawing. From the opening of the Museum in 1898, she also participated in founding and developing its collections through several donations and, from 1950 onwards, numerous deposits of works of art. It is to the Society that the Musée Jenisch also owes its copies of antiques - including the Diana of Gabie overhanging the staircase - and the two frescoes decorating the vestibule. Representing Summer and Harvest and Autumn and Wine, they were executed by Ernest Biéler (1863-1948) between 1917 and 1918 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Society.
Since 2007, the Fondation de la Société des Beaux-Arts de Vevey has been pursuing the goal of enriching and enhancing the historical core of the collection. The collection now has more than 230 works. A few old pieces stand alongside drawings and paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries - signed by Narcisse Diaz, Jules Dupré, Alexandre Calame, François Bocion, Alice Bailly, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen and Marius Borgeaud - as well as contemporary works by Alexandre Hollan, Farhad Ostovani and Jean Scheurer in particular. The core of this collection, however, consists essentially of 20th century Swiss artists.
President: Etienne Rivier