The Bechtler collection reflects most of the important art movements and schools from the 20th century with a deep holding of the School of Paris after World War II. The collection comprises mid-century modern art in various media by artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Jean Tinguely and Barbara Hepworth. Many of the artists are represented by their exploration of a particular theme or subject matter through a variety of media and approaches.
Only a handful of the artworks in the Bechtler collection have been on public view in the United States. Until now, the collection was privately held by the Bechtler family of Switzerland and has since been committed to the city of Charlotte by Andreas Bechtler.
Specific focus areas of the collection are:
The holdings of the Bechtler reveal principally the tastes and opportunities of a family of collectors based in Zurich, Switzerland. Nonetheless, the works they acquired were by artists from throughout Europe, Britain and America but all seen through their own personal lens.
SCHOOL OF PARIS
School of Paris is a term that has unusually broad applications but generally is meant to embrace the modern works in Europe during the years after World War II. Most often defined by various approaches to abstraction, the School of Paris is seen as flexible enough to embrace certain explorations in figural subjects.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH ARTISTS
In addition to a focus on European artists, the Bechtler collection is also rich in American and British artists, often as a result of personal relationships. American Mark Tobey, for example, practiced for many years in Zurich, Switzerland and was acquainted with the Bechtler family. A cluster of British artists formed relationships with the Bechtlers, especially Ben Nicholson who often spent his summers in Ascona, the Italian region of Switzerland, and served as an artistic mentor to a teenage Andreas Bechtler.
THE BECHTLER COLLECTION
The Bechtler collection juxtaposes whimsy with work of significant intellectual depth and historical significance. Cosmopolitan in nature yet intimate in scale, the museum provides an experience that is inspiring and approachable. The artworks were committed to the city of Charlotte by Andreas Bechtler who, along with his family, built the collection over 70 years.