The Henry Dunant Museum is temporarily closed. We are planning a reconstruction and are developping a new central exhibition with contemporary references for the initiator of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Henry Dunant Museum is the only museum worlwide dedicated to the life and work of the visionary founder of the international Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions. Heiden was Henry Dunant's (1828-1910) home for the last 18 years of his life. This village in the Appenzell, famed for its neoclassical architecture, was an internationally renowned resort. This is where he wrote his memoirs. At 800 masl, with a view onto Lake Constance and beyond the border, he developed his idea for a more peaceful world and an international court of justice. In 1901, in Heiden, he received word that he had become the first person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The museum dedicated to Dunant is located in the building in which he lived out his days as a reclusive pensioner until his death on 30 October 1910.
On 1 October 1874 the district hospital in Heiden opened its gates as the first hospital in the Appenzell. In 1892 Henry Dunant, a retiree at this point, moved into a room on the second floor of the neoclassical building. In 1998 the Henry Dunant Museum opened in the ground-floor rooms of the district hospital.
The Henry Dunant Museum explores the life of the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as themes such as international human rights, freedom, and democracy. Under the co-leadership of Kaba Rössler and Nadine Schneider the museum is turning to the future and develooping into an interdisciplinary dialogue space. Artists, authors, and musicians, specialists and experts of legal and social science, humanitarian work or intercultural education are all invited to pose contemporary humanitarian questions. All the physical and digital exhibitions, activities, and events of the Dunant Museum have the shared aim of reflecting and developing this humanist legacy, so that it may reach further generations.
→ For the 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.
A life size plaster bust of Henry Dunant, a silver medallion bearing his portrait, a linen armband with the red cross emblem on it, or a letter in Dunant's hand to Napoleon III, the emperor of France, dated 1867 --- the work and life of Henry Dunant is made tangible in the museum through objects and archival documents.
Nadine Schneider and Kaba Rössler are co-directors of the museum. They are supported by a dedicated team. Depending on the project, they form cooperations and collaborations with third parties. Furthermore, Rösser & Schneider have a mandate to reorient the museum and coneptualise a new permanent exhibition in keeping with the times.
The Gesellschaft vom Rothen Kreuz Heiden (association of the Red Cross Heiden) was founded on 27 February 1890 by Henry Dunant, who then led it as honorary president. After the dissolution of the communal red cross associations and the merging into cantonal organisations in 1997, the association was renamed the Verein Henry-Dunant-Museum (Henry Dunant Museum Association). By the next year the Henry Dunant Museum was able to open in the ground floor rooms of the former district hospital. The tax-exempt association aims to keep the memory of Henry Dunant and his vision alive. His humanitarian values are conveyed through exhibitions and events. The sponsoring organisation is the → Schweizerische Rote Kreuz Kantonalverband beider Appenzell (Swiss Red Cross cantonal association of both Appenzells).
→ Annual report 2019 (German)
The Henry Dunant Museum is financially supported by the association of the same name, by the responsible institution, the Swiss Red Cross cantonal association of both Appenzells, and by the municipality of Heiden, as well as the cultural promotion of the canton of Appenzell Outer Rhodes.
The exhibition and events programme are co-financed on a project-specific basis by foundations, sponsors, and by private backers, as well as by the friend circle.
We thank for their support in the 2019-2021 programme:
acrevis Bank AG, Arnold Billwiller Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Lienhard-Stiftung, Max Bircher Stiftung, Metrohm Stiftung, Migros Kulturprozent, Schwarzdorn Stiftung, Steinegg-Stiftung, Stiftung Heiden
We thank for their support in our efforts to reposition the museum:
Paul-Schiller-Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Metrohm Stiftung, Dr. Fred Styger Stiftung, Stiftung Heiden, Gemeinde Heiden, SRK beider Appenzell, Kanton Appenzell Ausserhoden, Bertold-Suhner-Stiftung, Jolanda & Walter Maier Stiftung, Hans und Wilma Stutz Stiftung
We thank the patronage committee: