Fondazione Hermann Hesse Montagnola
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Gunter Böhmer illustrates Klingsor’s last Summer
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola



An exhibition devoted to painter, graphic and illustrator Gunter Böhmer (1911-1986), who lived in Montagnola and shared a special friendship with Hermann Hesse, characterized by a mutual admiration concerning each other’s talents. In 1938, at the request of a German entrepreneur, Böhmer began to illustrate Klingsor’s last Summer. His talent and commitment, together with his admiration for Hermann Hesse and his love for the Ticino landscape, created unique illustrations related to the places described in the novel, among which Montagnola and Carona. Short before publishing the novel, all the printing plates were destroyed in 1944 in a bombing in Frankfurt. Proof copies, hundreds of sketches, and projects were left  which are gathered and shown to the public for the  first time, in collaboration with Swiss and German archives.


Curator: Regina Bucher

05.09.20Karin Widmer illustrates Klingsors last summer
Sala Boccadoro, Montagnola 17.00

In the summer of 2019, exactly one hundred years after Hesse's legendary Klingsor summer, Karin Widmer roamed the Ticino landscapes around Lake Lugano in the footsteps of Hermann Hesse, using a sketchbook and watercolour box. Like her role model Gunter Böhmer, she puts the images in the book directly to paper with a brush, without the use of a drawing pencil, resulting in a great delicacy and lightness of illustration.


In an interview with Regina BucherKarin Widmer explains her pictures, and actor Ernst Süss reads excerpts from the story.

In German language.

Free admission; voluntary collection.


Limited places! Please register at or by phone at 091 993 37 70.

09.08.20The Journey to the East
Cemetery of S. Abbondio, Gentilino, 17.00

Reading for the anniversary of the death of Hermann Hesse


Hermann Hesse's The Journey to East t was first published in 1932 and was considered by the author to be one of the most important of his poems. In this story, Hermann Hesse describes the secret society of pilgrims to the East, whose protagonists sometimes have great similarities with himself and his friends. 


Selection of texts: Rudolf Cornelius.
With Graziella Rossi (German) and Antonio Ballerio (Italian).
Introduction: Daniela Mannu


In German and Italian.

Free admission.


In case of bad weather the reading will take place in the church of S. Abbondio.

08.08.20Ensemble Linz - Summer concert
Church of S. Abbondio, Gentilino, 17.00

The renowned young musicians of the String Sextet Linz play compositions by Johannes Brahms, Astor Piazzola, Carlos Gardel, George Gershwin, Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Ennio Morricone and Béla Bartòk (see enclosed programme).


A concert by the Municipality of Collina d'Oro in collaboration with the Fondazione Hermann Hesse Montagnola.

Curator: Lucienne Rosset.


Free admission. Places are limited, so it is recommended to arrive in time.

Experiencing the Museum as protagonist
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola



Discovering Klingsor’s landscape – Illustrated poems on the Ticinese landscape

Students of two primary school classes of Collina d’Oro have explored Hermann Hesse’s love for the Ticinese landscape, which he expressed in many short stories and poems. This didactic project starts from Hesse’s short story Klingsor’s last summer. The students have composed their own illustrated poems which will be displayed in an exhibition, curated through the di different stages by the students themselves, including the opening, with the help of some experts.


Idea, concept and coordination: Lucilla Janssen

Curators: classes 1A and 5A of Scuole elementari Collina d’Oro

(teachers: Riccardo Calvaresi, Alice Messineo and Roberta



Opening: Thursday 13 February, 18.00

Hermann Hesse and Theodor Heuss - a relationship of friendship in changing times
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola



The exhibition’s theme is the very long friendship that connected the two men, from their fi rst professional contact when both were young literary scholars, to the last years of their careers, when Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize, and Heuss elected President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In the exhibition, letters, photographers and journal articles and books document the evolution of this long friendship. Objects from Theodor Heuss’s legacy will also be on display to illustrate his character from the point of view of his great love for art; also on exhibit, a selection of his watercolours made during his stays in Ticino and the Engadin.


The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a book in German and Italian (Schwabe Verlag Basel editions) and it has been prepared with the close collaboration of Theodor Heuss descendants and the Patronage of the German Embassy of Bern.


Vernissage: Pentecost Saturday, June 8, 18.30

24.11.19“A violin in the garden”
Kultur im Quartiertreff Hirslanden, Forchstrasse 248, Zürich, ore 17.00

Reading and music


A reading of poetry and prose texts bearing witness to Hermann Hesse’s love for classical music, which he considered “the soul of all the arts”.


Read by Graziella Rossi

Musical accompaniment: Nina Ulli (Violin)


Concept: Regina Bucher, Hermann Hesse Museum, Montagnola.


In German


More information:

16.11.19Aperitif with the writer
Guest: the cartoonist Paolo Bacilieri
Sala Boccadoro, Montagnola, 17.30



The journalist and author Sonja Riva joins the cartoonist and writer Paolo Bacilieri to explore and share his works.


Mons (Maurizio Montoneri), sound performer and DJ performs live music inspired by the presented books.


In Italian; free entrance.

12.10.19Aperitif with the writer
Guest: the artists Paul Wiedmer and Samuele Vesuvio
Sala Boccadoro Montagnola, 17.30



The journalist and author Sonja Rivajoins the artists Paul Wiedmer and Samuele Vesuvio to explore and share their work and art garden “La Serpara”


Mons (Maurizio Montoneri), sound performer and DJ performs live music inspired by the the work of the artists.


In Italian; free entrance.

05.10.19“The bird struggling to leave the egg”
100 years of Demian
Sala Boccadoro, Montagnola, 17.30

Reading and music


Hermann Hesse’s novel Demian. The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth appeared in 1919 initially under the pseudonym of Emil Sinclair, to avoid, as Hesse himself later wrote, “youth being frightened by seeing an author as an old uncle”.

Demian is still read today by young people and the image of the bird struggling to leave the egg is still used as a symbol of self-discovery.


With: Antonio Ballerio (Italian) and Ernst Süss (German).

Musical accompaniment: Marco Santilli (clarinet)


Introduction and reading conception: Dr. Helga Esselborn-Krumbiegel

Italian and German

Free entry; voluntary donation.

21.09.19Hermann Hesse and his wives:
Ruth Wenger, the singer
Sala Boccadoro Montagnola, 17.30


by Bärbel Reetz

Ruth Wenger (1897-1994) grew up in Delsberg and trained as a singer in Basel. In 1919, the Wenger family bought a holiday home, Casa Costanza, in the village of Carona, later called by Hesse “the parrot house” aft er a fresco on the front of the house. In Carona, during the summer of 1919, on an outing with friends, Hermann Hesse got to know Ruth Wenger in person. 

They finally married in January 1924 in Basel. The marriage lasted only three years, During this time, the spouses never lived together.

Bärbel Reetz will illustrate this brief but passionate and painful marriage, based on partially unpublished documents.


Musical accompainment: Davide Macaluso(piano) and Lorenza Donadini (soprano).


Admission free; voluntary donations.

11.08.19Like a candle lit at both ends
Reading on the anniversary of Hermann Hesse’s death
Cementery of S. Abbondio, Gentilino, 17.00



The autobiographical story Klingsor’s Last Summer was written a hundred years ago, in the summer of 1919. A few months earlier, Hermann Hesse had moved to Montagnola, into Casa Camuzzi, and experienced an extraordinarily hot summer, full of “such power, ardour and radiant allure that it captivated and pervaded him like a robust wine” as Hesse himself described in his reflections, Memory of Klingsor’s Summer.

The story describes not only Hermann Hesse’s feelings about the meaning of life, but also his fascination for the beauty of the surrounding environment.



With Antonio Ballerio (Italian) and Graziella Rossi (German).


In German and Italian: admission free

Treasures along the trails
Watercolour painting on the footsteps of Hermann Hesse
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola

Watercolour course


Meeting place: Museum Hermann Hesse, Montagnola,

Friday 9 August 2019, 10.00

With Lisa Kölbi-Thiele (www.lisa-kö This varied course is suitable for both beginners and advanced

painters, it offers theory and practical introductions to the watercolour technique, as well as plein air painting.



7–12 partecipants; in Italian and German.

Enrolment before 15 July 2019

Course fees Fr. 300.-

Enrolment and information: PDF(italian) PDF (german)

13.07.19The “other” Winterreise
Church of S. Abbondio, Gentilino, 20.30



The saxophone trio Sax Allemande and the singer Thomas Stimmel present extracts from Winterreise by Franz Schubert, in a version that is as surprising as it is sensitive and faithful to the composer’s intentions.

In contrast, in the second part of the program, the trio will play pieces by American composers such as Scott Joplin and George Gershwin.


With Marcus Maier, Frank Schüssler, Simone Ehinger

(saxophones) and Thomas Stimmel (bass/baritone).


In collaboration with Ceresio Estate; free entry.


More information:

That landscape so calm and so eternal
Photographs by Giosanna Crivelli
with texts by Hermann Hesse
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola



Giosanna Crivelli (January 25, 1949 – November 21, 2017), renowned landscape photographer, grew up in Montagnola not far from Hermann Hesse. The two occasionally met, but what connected them was their bond with the Ticino landscape.

More than a year after her death, and precisely on her 70th birthday, her fascinating photographs will be on exhibit

again at the Hermann Hesse Museum in Montagnola.


Vernissage: Friday, January 25, 18.30


The exhibition will then be hosted in autumn at the Biblioteca Cantonale of Bellinzona.

19.05.19Vagabond - or sedentary citi zen instead?
Sala Boccadoro, Montagnola, Matineé, 11.00

Reading and music


As part of the twinning with the City of Collina d’Oro, Calw, the hometown of Hermann Hesse, presents a reading in Montagnola taken from the tales of Knulp the vagabond. In the passages that will be read, Knulp returns, after a long pilgrimage, to his hometown. In the descriptions, we can recognize the city of Calw in the early 1900s.

What he wants to know is what has become of the friends of his youth who stayed there. Did they fi nd their paths, their fortunes?


With Antonio Ballerio (Italian) and Markus Anders (German).

Musical accompaniment: guitar duo Helmut Rauscher and Birgit Zacharias.


Conception: Herbert Schnierle-Lutz.


In Italian and German; free entry.


On the occasion of International Museum Day, admission to the Museum is free throughout the day.

21.04.19100 years of Montagnola
Easter reading
Museum Hermann Hesse Montagnola, 17.00



One hundred years ago Hermann Hesse moved from Bern to Ticino. In May 1919, he rented an apartment in Casa Camuzzi in Montagnola.  Retrospectively, in the essay Entering a New House, in 1931, he described this first year as “beautiful” and “fruitful”, as if he had awoken “years of nightmares” and breathed in “freedom, air, sun, solitude, work”.

The reading presents texts by Hermann Hesse from this important creative period.


Reading: Antonio Ballerio (Italian) and Rudolf Cornelius (German).


In Italian and German, admission Fr. 15.-/10.-

16.03.19Aperitif with the writer
Guest: the photographer Ferdinando Scianna
Sala Boccadoro Montagnola, 17.30



The journalist and author Sonja Riva joins the photographer Ferdinando Scianna to explore and share the work in images and words.


Mons (Maurizio Montoneri), sound performer and DJ performs live music inspired by the presented book.


In Italian; free entrance.

16.02.19Aperitif with the writer
Guest: the illustrator Sonia Maria Luce Possentini and editor Patrizia Zerbi
Sala Boccadoro Montagnola, 17.30



The journalist and author Sonja Riva joins the illustrator Sonia Maria Luce Possentini and Carthusia editor Patrizia Zerbi to explore and share their works.


Mons (Maurizio Montoneri), sound performer and DJ performs live music inspired by the books presented.


In Italian; free entry.

26.01.19The Man with Many Books
Biblioteca Cantonale Bellinzona 14.00-16.30

Guided tour and reading


Also in 2019, at the beginning of the year, admirers of Hesse will have the chance to see an important Ticino cultural institution. This year the museum will be a guest of the Biblioteca cantonale of Bellinzona. The head, Mauro Maffeis and Paola Piffaretti, head of cultural activities, will guide guests through the library presenting the diff erent sections. After an aperitif, there will be a staged reading of Hermann Hesse’s 1918 short story, The Man with Many Books with Antonio Ballerio (Italian) and Ernst Süss (German). The text narrates a book-lover’s gradual isolation from the real world and his subsequent fortuitous awareness.


In Italian and German; free entry.


Limited places! Reservations at

by January 18.

© Fondazione Hermann Hesse Montagnola