Barbier-Mueller Museum (Musée Barbier-Mueller)
The Barbier-Mueller Museum holds the world’s largest collection of non-Western art and artifacts. The core of the permanent collection comprises works from Oceania, Africa, and indigenous artisans of the Americas, supplemented by an important collection of antiquities from Greece, Italy, and other centers of the ancient world.
One of the key attractions of Geneva’s old town, this excellent collection of some 7,000 items is the result of almost a century’s worth of collecting and world-class research. Art and artifacts are divided into four sections, Antiquity, Africa, North America, and the South Seas, with two rotating exhibitions per year highlighting various aspects of the collection. Many walking tours of Old Town pass by the museum, but it’s well worth circling back to duck inside for a visit.
Things to know before you go
- The Barbier-Mueller Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers.
- Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour to tour the museum.
- The ground floor of the museum is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.
How to get there
The Barbier-Mueller Museum is in the heart of Geneva’s Old Town, within easy walking distance of the Cathédrale St-Pierre and Maison Tavel.
When to get there
The museum is open daily throughout the year from 11am to 5pm. It’s perfect for a quick stop while touring the historic district or to escape any inclement weather. Rotating exhibits make it appropriate for repeat visitors.
History of the Collection
The museum collection comes from the private holdings of German politician Joseph Mueller and Jean-Paul Barbier, which began in 1907. Many pieces come from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including historic items you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
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- Maison de Rousseau & de la Littérature (MRL)
- Tavel House (Maison Tavel)
- Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)
- International Museum of the Reformation (Musée International de la Réforme)
- St. Peter's Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Pierre)
- Bastions Park (Parc des Bastions)
- Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art
- Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie)
- Geneva Museum of Art and History (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève)
- Rath Museum (Musée Rath)
- English Garden (Jardin Anglais)
- Rousseau Island (Ile Rousseau)
- Patek Philippe Museum
- Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO)
- Geneva Contemporary Art Centre (Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève)