Upon the initiative of Gerard and Theresa Burkhardt-Felder, both passionate collectors and lovers of art, the Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts and Culture was established in 2002. It aims to acquaint a large public with two specific art forms: the art of Australian Aborigines and international motorcar design, developed by famous producers.
The founders Theresa and Gérard Burkhardt lived in Australia for twenty-five years. During that time, they became acquainted with Aboriginal art, the artistic expression of one of the oldest cultures in the world, dating back almost 60,000 years. They were impressed with their spiritual concept, which includes respect for nature and earth, and with their complex sociocultural history. The art of the Aborigines, an impressive amalgam of sacred motifs and vibrant colours, expressed in contemporary fashion, fascinated them.
Parallel to Australian Aboriginal art, the founders developed an interest in the history of motorcars. A sense of perfection, a search for rarity and excellence as well as the collectors’ passion for the aesthetics and the mechanics of top range cars led to a collection of rare and exclusive models, representing a lifestyle practised from the end of the 19th century up till 1980.
Back in Switzerland, they desired to share their passion with the public. For this reason, they set up the Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts and Culture in Môtiers, Val-de-Travers in the Canton of Neuchâtel.
They take the visitor on an impressive journey through times and continents, art and technology, tradition and modernity.
The Museum of Australian Aboriginal art “La grange” is part of the historic building complex of the Château d’Ivernois in Môtiers which dates back to the early 18th century. It reveals the richness, the diversity and the extraordinary vitality of the contemporary art of the Australian Aborigines.
The former agricultural building, built in 1721, was extensively converted into a museum from 2003 until 2006. Since its inauguration in 2008, this fine exhibition space offers an ideal setting for the beauty of Aboriginal art. The authentic, unchanged wooden structure from the 18th century enhances this unique ambience.
The Motorcar Museum “Le manège” is situated in the park of the Château d’Ivernois and houses the car collection of the Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts and Culture. It consists predominantly of rare models in concert with the collectors’ passion for motorcar aesthetics and refined mechanics.
The former riding hall, built in 1856, was entirely and respectfully renovated during the years of 2003 to 2006. The interior of the building was transformed to meet the functional requirements of a modern showroom.
Since its opening, the museum presents over twenty exceptional motorcars, illustrating the exciting history of the automobile from 1897 to 1980.
Utopia in Colours brings together a selection of paintings by renowned artists from the Utopia region, situated approximately 250 kilometers northeast of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. This area includes the ancestral lands of the Anmatyerr and Alyawarr peoples.
After practising batik for ten years, the artists of Utopia adopted painting with acrylics on canvas in the late 1980s. Thanks to this new medium and the almost limitless palette of colours offered by synthetic pigments, artists experimented with new possibilities of expression. Evoking the fauna and flora or the landscape and seasonal variations of their ancestral lands, they translate in their paintings the multiple dimensions of their Dreamings and the rituals associated with them.
Through some fifty paintings from the collection of the Foundation Burkhardt-Felder, the exhibition reveals the great formal and chromatic freedom as well as the remarkable finesse and elegance of the works of more than twenty Utopia artists, including exceptional personalities such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kathleen Petyarre and her granddaughter Abie Loy Kemarre, the sisters Gloria, Ada Bird and Violet Petyarre as well as Minnie Pwerle, Barbara Weir, Kudditji Kngwarreye and Greeny Purvis Petyarre.
The Motorcar Museum “Le manège” today accommodates over twenty exceptional motorcars, produced between 1897 and 1980, some of which excel by their uniqueness.
Amongst the particularly noteworthy models exhibited is the first car used in the Val-de-Travers, a Jeanperrin 1897, as well as the most expensive motorcar in 1916, a Crane Simplex, which can be admired in its original state. The nobility of a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost or Phantom contrasts with the extravagance of an Auburn, Cord or Lagonda of the Thirties. The Voiturette BNC, nicknamed at the time “Bugatti of the Poor Man” stands next to a real 1932 Bugatti. In addition to the eccentricity of a Lamborghini and the technical genius of a Ferrari, the visitor will also discover a cut out car chassis to demonstrate the mechanics and the functioning of a car.
Seasonal opening times 2023:
From June 11 to October 29
Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
from 2pm to 6pm
|Child (up to 12 years)||free|
|Groupmin. 8 persons||7 per person|
|Guided visit(DE, FR, EN, ES)||100 + entry fee|
Guided visit(DE, FR, EN, ES)
for school classes
PHONE +41 32 861 35 10
From mid-May to mid-December,
Guided visit, by appointment only
|From 1 - 8 persons||120 (flat fee)|
|Groups of more than 8 persons||15 per person|
|From 1 - 8 persons||240 (flat fee)|
|Groups of more than 8 persons||30 per person|
Your visit to the Museum of Australian Aboriginal Art “La grange” and to the Motorcar Museum “Le manège” may be accompanied by an aperitif suited to your needs and desires. Please enquire about our tailormade aperitif suggestions ranging from a glass of sparkling wine to Apéro riche.
Depending on the weather, the aperitif will be served in the park of the Château d’Ivernois or in the Museum “La grange”.