The Ariana Museum, also known as The Swiss Museum of Ceramics and Glass, is dedicated to the ceramic arts. It is located in the front yard of the Palais des Nations in the Parc de l'Ariana. The building was constructed between 1877 and 1884 by Gustave Revilliod to house his prodigious art collection. It was named after his mother, Ariane de la Rive. The museum was eventually bequeathed to the city of Geneva and became part of Geneva's Museum of Art and History in 1934. More than 20,000 pieces are in the collection.
The items here date from the fourteenth century until modern times. Glassware and ceramics may not sound very exciting, but the items on display are beautiful. The porcelain is as meticulously detailed as any great painting. It is interesting to see how Eastern (Chinese and Japanese) ceramics influenced European design and tastes. The pottery and glassware are all intricately designed as well.
The museum is a bit off the beaten path, despite its location among Geneva's most popular tourist attractions. Even if you're not particularly interested in ceramics, the museum is well worth a visit. It is one of the few free attractions in Geneva, and the collection is varied and interesting.
Location: Avenue de la Paix 10, International Area
Telephone: + 41 022 418 5450
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00-18:00
Admission: Free admission to permanent collections.
CHF5 for special exhibitions.