Visit 1


Number of participants: 40 max.

Schedule: 13:30 (Departure from conference venue) – 17:00

Adress: rue des Beaux-Arts, Neuchâtel

Access: by public transport (Funicular) and/or by feet (participants will be guided by HE-Arc CR students).

This French Neo-Renaissance style building was built by architect Léo Châtelain in 1881-1887. The staircase, particularly imposing, was decorated in 1886-1893 with monumental paintings by Léo-Paul Robert with the help of the glass painter Clément Heaton. The MAHN presents collections of Neuchâtel, Swiss and French art, including the Jaquet-Droz automata.


The Art and History Museum (MAHN) in Neuchâtel will present a demonstration of its three famous automata “the Writer, the Draughtsman and the Musician” manufactured by Pierre and Henri-Louis Jacquet-Droz and Jean-Frédéric Leschot. During the second part of the visit, the ornamental staircase, a total artwork in itself, created by Léo-Paul Robert and Clément Heaton, will also be presented.

Presenters /organisers

For the MAHN
  • Philippe Lüscher, curator of the Department of Applied Arts
  • Nicole Quellet-Sogel, assistant-curator of the Department of Fine Arts
  • Christophe von Känel and Thierry Amstutz, scientific collaborators
For HE-Arc CR
  • Aline Michel, conservator-restorer and research assistant
  • Assisted by master students Clara le Bail & Laura Flückiger

13:30: Departure from the conference venue for the MAHN
13:45: Meeting at the entrance of the MAHN
14:00 -15:30: Introduction by Philippe Lüscher and presentation of automata by Christophe von Känel and Thierry Amstutz
15:30: Coffee break offered by MAHN
16:00 – 17:00: Presentation of the staircases by Nicole Quellet-Soguel
17:00: End of the activities and return to the conference venue or city centre

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