Posted on 12/22/2005

Photo taken on November  1, 2003

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The Staircase at the Oskar Reinhart Museum at Romerholz in Winterthur, Nov. 2003

The Staircase at the Oskar Reinhart Museum at Romerholz in Winterthur, Nov. 2003
The Oskar Reinhart Collection is one of the leading private art collections built up in the 20th century. It comprises around 200 works by European artists spanning the period from late Gothic to the threshold of modern art, with particular emphasis on 19th century French painting.

Born in Winterthur in 1885, Oskar Reinhart was the youngest son of Theodor Reinhart and his wife Lilly, née Volkart. His father ran the trading company of Volkart Bros., which had been founded in Winterthur in 1851. The two main formative influences on the young Oskar Reinhart were his training as a businessman and the exposure to the arts he received in his parents' home. His father was the patron of several well-known Swiss artists and Oskar's elder brother, Georg, started collecting works of art at an early age.

Oskar Reinhart withdrew from the family business in 1924 in order to devote himself entirely to his activities as a collector. He chose as his place of residence the villa "Am Römerholz" built by Maurice Turrettini in 1915, commissioning the same architect to add a gallery for his collection. As time passed, he had the idea of giving the city of Winterthur the works by 18th to early 20th century German, Swiss and Austrian artists that have been displayed in the Oskar Reinhart Museum am Stadtgarten since 1951.

When he died in 1965, he bequeathed the remaining part of his collection and his house "Am Römerholz" to the Swiss Confederation, which opened them to the public in 1970.

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For a NY Times article written in 1993 on Winterthur: