The Collection

Permanent presentation

“Come and see here what you won’t see elsewhere!” is the slogan for the permanent exhibition, laid out chronologically over two floors to showcase treasures from Vaud’s art collections, with some three hundred works dating from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Some rooms focus on a single artist well represented in the museum’s historical collection, such as Louis Ducros, Charles Gleyre, Félix Vallotton, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Louis Soutter, while others showcase major trends in post-World War Two acquisitions, such as drawings and paintings of the second Paris School, geometric abstraction, neo-Fauvism, and new media such as video and installation art.
It is planned that works on display will gradually be rotated over the years.

Online visitors guide
Credits and image caption:
François Bocion, «Bocion et sa famille à la pêche (Bocion and His Family Out Fishing)», 1877. Oil on wood, 32 x 48.5 cm. Acquisition, 1939 © MCBA

Tour app

The app supports you in discovering the MCBA art’s collection

  • Artworks’ commentaries (text and audio versions)
  • Artists’ and specialists’ interviews
  • Additional pictures allow a better understanding of a selection of 40 exhibited artworks

Available free of charge in FR / EN / DE

Learn more / download


Guide to the Collection

A presentation of more than two hundred artworks gives a glimpse of the museum’s holdings.

Texts by Bernard Fibicher, Catherine Lepdor, Camille Lévêque‑Claudet, Laurence Schmidlin, Nicole Schweizer and Camille de Alencastro.

A coedition by the Musée cantonal des Beaux‑Arts de Lausanne and Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich, 2020.

(separate French and English editions). 248 pp., 226 colour illustrations.

CHF 25.-


Watching the Glacier Go

A decentralised art event taking place throughout Switzerland: 29.06 —29.9.2024

Curated by Lorette Coen, Bernard Fibicher, and Carmen Perrin, the decentralised exhibition Regarder le glacier s’en aller (Watching the Glacier Go) adopts the artist’s point of view on the disappearance of glaciers. The multivenue show features numerous partners, inviting them to question processes now playing out by engaging artists and drawing on their way of seeing. Down through the ages and in a range of ways, creative individuals have expressed humans’ complex ties to their milieu. The inevitable end of glaciers could also announce a new beginning, i.e., learning once again how to listen to and sense the world, and as humans, trying to reach a more sensitive, humbler, more just and peaceful place there.

MCBA is taking part in this project by exhibiting the works on permanent display an installation by the artist Katie Paterson (*1981) titled Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull (2007), an installation in dialogue with the Romantic landscape Le glacier du Rosenlaui (1841) by the Genevan painter François Diday (1802-1877). Paterson’s installation comprises three videos and a soundtrack. The Scottish artist used recordings of the meltwater coming from three glaciers in Iceland. These sound recordings from the three glaciers were pressed into three records, then cast and frozen using the meltwater from each corresponding glacier. These ice discs were then played simultaneously on three turntables until they completely melted away.

Exhibition Watching the Glacier Go, official website:

Katie Paterson, Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull, 2007. Film still. © Katie Paterson, 2007