Alice Boner

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Calf bearer
bronze sculpture by Alice Boner, in the Rieterpark Zurich

Alice Boner (born July 22, 1889 in Legnano , Italy ; † April 13, 1981 in Zurich ; resident in Chur and Malans ) was a Swiss sculptor , photographer , Indologist , art historian , translator and collector.


Alice Boner was born in 1889 in Legnano, northern Italy, to Swiss parents. Her father Georg Boner (1862–1947) was a delegate to the board of directors of the BBC , her maternal grandfather was Charles Brown , founder of the BBC. After attending school in Italy, she studied painting and sculpture in Brussels, Munich and with Carl Burckhardt in Basel from 1907 to 1911 and then moved with her family to Zurich, where she became a freelance sculptor. In 1916 her works were exhibited at the Kunsthaus Zürich .

In 1926 and 1928 she traveled through Morocco and Tunisia , where she photographed the template for her bronze sculpture Calf Bearer . At one of his performances in Zurich in 1926 Alice Boner met the Indian dancer Uday Shankar (1900–1977). In 1928 she left her studio below the University of Zurich and moved to Paris. In 1930 she traveled through India. After her return, she led Shankar's dance troupe for five years.

In 1936 Boner emigrated to India. She sat as an art historian, and collector indologist scientifically with the Hindu pictorial tradition, for example in the Ellora - Cave temples , apart translated palm leaf manuscripts and wrote papers on Indian dance forms such. B. Kathakali .

In 1970 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich . In 1974 she was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian President .

In 1978 she returned to Switzerland, where she died in 1981.

Alice Boner donated a large part of her collection of Indian paintings and sculptures to the Zurich Museum Rietberg , where they form the basis of the Indian collection on display. Her artistic, personal and photographic estate also ended up in the Rietberg Museum. Sculptures made by Alice Boner are on public display in the Rieterpark ( calf carrier and water carrier ), in the garden of the Bodmerhaus ( awakening ) and in the park of the Langmatt Museum ( striding ).

The Rietberg Museum dedicated two exhibitions to her: “Alice Boner and the Art of India” (February 18, 1982 - January 2, 1983) and “Alice Boner in India - A Life for Art ” (September 23, 2017 - January 14, 2018) .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Alice Boner. In: Sikart
  2. ^ Obituary Georg Boner . In: Schweizerische Bauzeitung . February 22, 1947 (PDF; 965 kB)
  3. ^ "Alice Boner in India - a life for art", Museum Rietberg / City of Zurich, handout ( undated ), early years / 1889–1925.
  4. ^ A b Museum Rietberg: Profile of Alice Boner . Retrieved September 23, 2017
  5. ^ Andrea Kuratli and Johannes Beltz: Alice Boner - A Visionary Artist and Scholar Across Two Continents . Roli Books, New Delhi 2014, ISBN 978-93-5194101-9 .
  6. Bernard Imhasly : See Benares and then die? In: NZZ . December 31, 2007