The Henry Dunant Museum is getting ready for the future!
With the completion of construction and the topping-out ceremony on April 1, 2023, an important milestone has been reached.
For the time being, we will present attractive events from April 2023 and offer guided tours and workshops for school classes and groups on request. In parallel, we are working on the realization of the new core exhibition in order to be able to celebrate the reopening in August 2024.
The Henry Dunant Museum is the only museum in the world that focuses on the life and work of the visionary initiator of the International Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions. Henry Dunant (1828-1910) spent the last 18 years of his life in Heiden. The Appenzell village with its classicist architecture was an internationally renowned health resort at the time. He wrote his memoirs here. At 800 m. above sea level, with a view of Lake Constance and across borders, he further developed his ideas for a more peaceful world and an International Court of Justice. It was in Heiden in 1901 that he received the announcement that he would be the first person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The museum dedicated to him is housed in the building where Dunant lived as a reclusive pensioner until his death on 30 October 1910.
1 October 1874 marks an important day for the Appenzell region: the first hospital of both Appenzell is opened in Heiden. In 1892, Henry Dunant moves into a room on the 2nd floor of the classicist building as a pensioner. Around a hundred years later, in 1998, the first Henry-Dunant-Museum is opened on the ground floor of the former district hospital. In 2020, a repositioning process is initiated. With a careful conversion of the listed building, the reorganisation of the rooms and a new core exhibition, the museum takes a step into the 21st century. The reopening is planned for autumn 2023.
Based on the life of the ICRC initiator, the Henry Dunant Museum facilitates an examination of human rights, international law, peace and democracy. Under the co-direction of Kaba Rössler and Nadine Schneider, the museum is turning closer to the present and developing into an interdisciplinary place of dialogue. All of the museum's exhibitions, actions and events have a common goal: to reflect on the humanist heritage and to think ahead so that these values also reach future generations.
→ Complete vision (German)
In front of the Dunant Museum, mounted on an installation by St. Galler artist Lucie Schenker, floats a peculiar object: the Nagasaki Peace Bell. It is one of 5 copies worldwide of these angelus bells, which survived the bombing of the Japanese city on 9 August 1945, practically unscathed. The magnificent bell, a gift from Nagasaki, arrived in Heiden in March 2010. Since then, every year on 9 August, in the context of a public celebration with prominent guests, the catastrophe of Nagasaki is commemorated with the ringing of the peace bell.
Forty years after the death of Henry Dunant, Jakob Haug, a master carpenter from Heiden, wants to erect a monument to the initiator of the Red Cross. After several hurdles, he was able to inaugurate Switzerland's first Dunant monument in Heiden in 1962. The sculptor Charlotte Jahn Germann created a remarkable work from 7.5 tonnes of granite from Graubünden. She did not carve Dunant's likeness in stone, but his pioneering idea of humanitarian aid in an abstract representation: a Good Samaritan and a person in need of help.
The unconventional financing is worth mentioning, as all Swiss cantons supported the project with one cent per inhabitant, totalling 45,000 Swiss francs.
The museum is co-managed by Nadine Schneider and Kaba Rössler. They are supported by a committed team.
The Society of the Red Cross Heiden was founded on 27 February 1890 by Henry Dunant and co-sponsored by him as honorary president. After the dissolution of the communal Red Cross societies and the merger into cantonal organisations, the society was renamed the Henry Dunant Museum Association in 1997. Already in the following year, the Henry-Dunant-Museum could be opened in the parterre rooms of the former district hospital. The tax-exempt association aims to keep the memory of Henry Dunant and his visions alive. The association's supporting organisation is the → Swiss Red Cross Cantonal Association of the two Appenzells.
The Henry Dunant Museum receives recurring financial support from the municipality of Heiden, the cultural promotion of the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and the Appenzellische Gemeinnützigen Gesellschaft (AGG).
The exhibition and event programme is co-financed on a project basis by foundations, sponsors and private patrons as well as by the Circle of Friends.
The Henry Dunant Museum is part of the platform Museen im Appenzellerland, which is supported and managed by the Office of Culture of the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.
Thanks for supporting the 2023 programme:
acrevis Bank AG, Appenzellische Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft, Ethel Kocher sel., Gemeinde Heiden, ippnw, Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden, SRK beider Appenzell, Stiftung EW Heiden, UBS Switzerland AG, Walter-Edison-Kruesi-Stiftung
Thanks for supporting the repositioning:
Appenzellische Winkelriedstiftung, → Beisheim Stiftun g, Bertold-Suhner-Stiftung, Deutsches Rotes Kreuz DRK, Dr. Fred Styger Stiftung, Ebnet-Stiftung, → Ernst Göhner Stiftung , Erika und Conrad Schnyder-Stiftung, Ethel Madeleine Kocher sel. (Legat), Frieda und Ulrich Steingruber-Stiftung, Gemeinde Heiden, Hans und Wilma Stutz Stiftung, Irene Colinet-Stiftung, Jolanda & Walter Maier Stiftung, Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Kath. Kirchgemeinde Heiden-Rehetobel, Katholischer Konfessionsteil des Kantons St. Gallen, Krüger Foundation, Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Liechtensteinisches Rotes Kreuz LRK, Metrohm Stiftung, Otto Gamma-Stiftung, Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz ÖRK, → Paul-Schiller-Stiftung , Peter und Huldi Aeschbacher-Graf Stiftung, → Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz SRK , SRK beider Appenzell, Steinegg Stiftung Herisau, Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte Winterthur (SKKG), Stiftung Fürstlicher Kommerzienrat Guido Feger, Stiftung Heiden, Stiftung STAB, SwissLife Stiftung «Perspektiven», Swisslos-Fonds Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden, UBS Kulturstiftung, Walter und Verena Spühl-Stiftung, Vontobel-Stiftung
Thanks to the → Circle of Friends of the Henry Dunant Museum
Thanks to the members of the → Matronage and Patronage Committee
The Henry-Dunant-Museum and the Bernisches Historisches Museum together were the first museums in Switzerland to develop a museum-specific digital form for the annual report. Vivid and entertaining insights into the museum world, rich in exciting background information, pictures, graphics and films make reading the annual report a pleasure...