Toms Pauli Foundation

  • Collection of Ancient tapestries and modern textile creations

A new visibility
The state owns the collection of historical tapestries assembled by Reginald and Mary Toms, as well as the 20th-century collection consisting of works by artists of the heyday of the Lausanne Tapestry Biennals (1962–1995). A private foundation is responsible for managing this dual collection. Founded in Lausanne in 2000, the Fondation Toms Pauli has presented two temporary exhibitions at MCBA: Flemish Tapestries from the 16th to the 18th Century in 2000 and Nomadic Tapestries: 20th-Century Collection in 2016. Various solutions have been sought to enable the Fondation Toms Pauli to conserve and showcase this heritage, and the collection’s integration into the new cultural platform opens up important new opportunities. The foundation will move into the building housing MCBA, where it will be able to organise events revolving around textile art and present temporary exhibitions of its collections.

An international network
The Fondation is one of the few public institutions exclusively dedicated to textile art. There is an existing international network for these types of collections that encourages partnerships and exhibition projects. Since it did not have its own walls on which to present its heritage, and therefore had little visibility locally, the Fondation has been very active abroad in recent years, lending a number of works to renowned institutions in Switzerland, Europe (France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania) and the United States.

The collections
As prestigious objects and diplomatic gifts, tapestries were the glory of Europe’s royal courts for centuries. Reginald and Mary Toms assembled over one hundred of them in the 1960s to decorate the walls of their home in the castle of Coinsins (in the La Côte region). This remarkable collection, donated to the Etat de Vaud in 1993, illustrates the wide variety of subjects depicted and the incredible quality of the tapestries, made by the finest manufacturers in Flanders, France, Italy and England from the 16th to the 18th century.

The Fondation’s 20th-century collection — inherited from the Association Pierre Pauli and the Centre International de la Tapisserie Ancienne et Moderne (CITAM)—contains over 200 works by Swiss and foreign artists like Jean Lurçat, Sonia Delaunay, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jagoda Bui´c, Olga de Amaral, Ritzi & Peter Jacobi, Elsi Giauque, Sheila Hicks, and Naomi Kobayashi. This collection illustrates the remarkable evolution of classical tapestry towards a new, free, inventive form of expression, in the second half of the 20th century.

Toms Pauli Foundation

Félix Vallotton Foundation

  • Collection of Ancient tapestries and modern textile creations

A major artist
Founded in Lausanne in 1998, the Fondation Félix Vallotton is a Centre of Excellence in the study of the life and works of the painter, engraver, illustrator, writer and art critic Félix Vallotton (1865–1925). One of his generation’s most important artists, born Swiss in Lausanne and naturalized French in 1900, he created a body of work that belongs to the artistic heritage of both countries, as well as to the legacy of European art. Thanks to the renewal he instilled into woodcutting in the 1890s, he gained recognition in Paris’s artistic and literary circles before becoming a book and press illustrator much sought-after in France and abroad. The turn of the century marked a career change that saw him dedicate himself almost exclusively to his first vocation: painting. Fiercely independent, he developed over a few years a distinctive style that makes his works instantly identifiable. It is characterised by slick paint coating, sharp colours and daring framing.

Scientific study of the artist
The Fondation Félix Vallotton holds the artist’s archives, but has no exhibition space. Except for a single painting, its collections consist mainly of papers. They include drawings and sketches, sketch and notebooks, manuscripts, photographs and various bibliographical documents. Based on its archives and its fund of knowledge, the Fondation develops scientific research projects that result in publications. Two reference works have already been published: in 2005 the catalogue raisonné Félix Vallotton. L’œuvre peint, and in 2012 Félix Vallotton. Critique d’art. Its new project, entitled Félix Vallotton illustrateur, carried out in partnership with the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), is an online catalogue raisonné of Vallotton’s book and press illustrations. The MCBA has already planned an exhibition that will celebrate the completion of this project of international scope. The Fondation contributes in addition to curating exhibitions such as Félix Vallotton. Fire beneath the Ice, that was shown in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo in 2013–2014 and attracted nearly one million visitors.

Housing the Fondation within the mcb-a, which holds the world’s largest collection of works by the artist — 500 pieces including 53 paintings, 300 engravings and 200 drawings — will lead to creating an unequalled center of expertise on Félix Vallotton and his work.

Félix Vallotton Foundation