Just after leaving the Camera Museum we have noticed strange "something". After a bit of examination we have found out that it is called "Le Centurion", and that it is the mobile sculpture. And we have found the web address, which, some time later, has led us to the one of the most interesting personal web presentations, by which we have "discovered" that "Le Centurion" is artwork of Charles Morgan.
Here are some parts of his very unusual biography, copy-pasted from his web page (which has been updated in the meantime, so this text can't be found there anymore): "Charles Morgan was born on the 8th of June 1951 in British town of Romford, near London, to Englishman Fred Morgan and his German wife Fidi. […] The family moved to Blonay in Switzerland when Charles was 13 years old. As he could not speak a word of French at the time, he quickly achieved the honour of being bottom of the class. Much of his time was spent at the local metal dump where he learned that nothing is really thrown away, everything is recycled, especially metal. This affinity for all things metallic coupled with his inventive nature, inherited no doubt from a very creative mother and a father who loves painting and design, lead him naturally towards a career in jewelery design and creation. […] The art college, however, refused him entry because of his inability to write sufficiently well in French. Undeterred he took up a four year apprenticeship in a jewelers shop and studied at the same time the principles of mechanics, electricity, electronics and other modern technologies such as the laser. Since 1974 he has worked independently in Vevey where he quickly gained a reputation for producing extraordinary jewelery […] Still it was the machines which interested him most and he began to devote more and more time to them. In 1975 he entered one of his machines for a competition during an Exhibition of Inventions and Hobbies in Geneva. At this first attempt he was awarded first prize. […] In 1977, to mark the occasion of the famous Winemaker's Festival in Vevey, he created 'The Wine Tasting Machine' which won a special prize in the Best Dressed Shop-Window competition which was organized as part of the celebrations. […]."
This tip is not only recommendation for travelers not to miss "Le Centurion" on Grande-Place in Vevey, but also invitation to enjoy the art of Charles Morgan, greatly presented on the internet.
In Vevey, on Grande-Place, by the shore of Lake Geneva there are three bronze statues called "Sea Horses". Created by Swiss sculptor Edouard-Marcel Sandoz in 1964, this three statues, strongly influenced by the Art Nouveau style, represent sea nymphs riding sea horses. One of the nymphs is on the center of the fountain on the square, the other two – arising from the water of the lake.
In towns and cities in Switzerland it is very common to see Renaissance fountains of very typical form – pillar with a figure on the top, in the middle of basin with water. The most we have seen in Neuchatel, but they are not rare in other places we have visited. Vevey is not exception. The one we may call Guard Fountain stands on the crossing of Rue de Centre and Rue des Deux-Marches. We couldn't find anything about this fountain which is pretty unusual, since we have found quite a lot of details about the history of many other fountains, some of them very modest comparing them to the fountain in Vevey. We could only guess that it was created at the same time as the similar fountains in Neuchatel or Lausanne – in the 16th or 17th century.
"In its idyllic setting on Lake Geneva, right in the heart of Vevey, the Swiss Camera Museum offers a wonderful opportunity to visitors of all ages to discover the story of photographers and photography from its very beginnings till today. […] The permanent exhibition […] tells the story of photography, showing the inventors, and all the techniques involved, with a vast collection of photographic equipment, from camerae obscurae and magic lanterns to the most up-to-date numerical cameras." There is nothing much to add to this info text from the museum promotional leaflet, except that the museum is very interesting, suitable for children and with excellent audio-guides in French, German and English language.
We have bumped into the museum and spent great time in it. Unfortunately we had no more than an hour, which is not enough at all. But we managed to have very pleasant chat with merry guide of the museum, about the museum, our travels… We expanded his knowledge of history of photography in Serbia, so – there is the slight possibility that he knows a bit about Anastas Jovanovic.
Musee Jenisch – Jenisch Museum was established at the end of the 19th century. It is housed in a Neoclassical style building dating from the same period, designed by architects Louis Maillard and Robert Convert. The museum was created from a bequest by Fanny Jenisch of Hamburg, who with her husband had made their home in Vevey. Today it treasures the collections of the two institutions – Musee des Beaux-Arts and Cabinet Cantonal des Estampes.
Musee des Beaux-Arts – Fine Arts Museum owns one of the finest collections of drawings in Switzerland. One of our favourite pieces from this collection is tiny, beautiful "Double Portrait of Otto Magnus von Stackelberg and Jacob Linckh" drawn by Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres. The others whose drawings are part of the collection are Gustave Dore, Eugene Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti… Among the paintings of this collection are those painted by Swiss artists – Ferdinand Hodler's "Mountain Peaks Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau Above the Sea of Mist", Felix Vallotton's "Rocks at Low Water"… but also works of Georges Rouault, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio Morandi, Pierre Alechinsky…
Fondation Oskar Kokoschka, established in 1987, seven years after the artist's death, is the separate part of the museum collection consisted of 800 Kokoschka's drawings and paintings donated to the museum. Just a minor part of the collection is exhibited, but every single work is marvelous, just to mention a few – "Muslim Healer" painted in 1928, "Self-portrait" painted in 1948 and exhibited at Venice Biennale…
Cabinet Cantonal des Estampes – Cantonal Museum of Prints groups together the prints in possession of various institutions in the canton of Vaud. Among the masterpieses of this collection are prints of Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn ("Landscape With Three Trees", "Faust"…), Jean-Baptiste Le Prince ("Calmouk – Archer From Central Asia"), Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonard ("Young Laundress")…
We have found such review on the internet: "With high hopes, went to visit this museum today. Except for a special exhibit on papers from Venice the museum was almost empty in its permanent collection! Just a few old paintings here and there but 80% empty! A waste of 12CHF!" Our experience was completely different – Musee Jenisch is one of the finest small museums we have seen.
-Stick your knife in the bottom of the lake
-Chaplin with my hat and muffler
-Chaplin kissed by two girls with my hat on and wrapped himself up with my muffler
-A lake beauty exploring the lake bottom
Start at the funicular station in Vevey where there is a descriptive board of various routes through the vineyard. Find one of the footpaths marked with yellow diamonds and head uphill towards Chardonne through Corseaux. After you have crossed the motorway you should find several roads that run parallel to the lake. Follow the road untilyou have had enough of walking in that direction then make your way down towards the lake where you should find a road signposted towards Vevey which will eventually bring you out near the funicular station again.
I haven't given a lot of detail as there are plenty of roads going in the direction parrallel to the lake and the motorway. It is practically impossible to get lost.
Another variation would be to walk up all the way to Chardonne and have a look around Chardonne.
I have suggested Autumn to get the value of the autumn colours of the vineyards but any time of the year you will have a pleasant walk through the vineyards. Harvest time is also interesting if you would like to see the harvesting activities.
I decided to take a boat ride to Montreux and take some pictures of Chateau Chillon and then walk the lakeside Promenade. It is a very relaxing way to spend the morning. And there are some good pictures to be had as well!
Vevey is one of the smaller towns along the shores of Lac Leman which makes up the Vaud region of Switzerland. French in inclination, the Vaud is a huge wine growing region. Stretching out for miles, it's bordered by Switzerland and France; Geneva at the south/western end, Montreux at the north/eastern end.
When I arrived in Vevey, there was a carnival set up in the "Marche", the main square of the town, where the boats make their primary stop. The carnival was noisey and rambunctious, with bumper car rides, a log ride, and loud, relentlessly thumping, Michael Jackson era music blaring. Hardly the peaceful sojourn I was looking for.
Carnival aside, the town is charming. Lining the Marche there are many outdoor cafes and restaurants. To the north of the Marche is "old" Vevey, alleys of cobblestone streets with few to no cars and charming shops and restaurants and hotels. Why can't they have cheese shops like this in Silicon Valley?! Upon entering one cheese shop (where the owner was extremely friendly and helpful in explaining what the various cheeses were) I was reminded of Rick Steves' remark that such shops smell like "the feet of angels". Of course there were also wonderful bakeries and produce stores and I had the best picnics the four days I was in Vevey.
A long promenade stretches along the lake for miles; all the way to Montreux and Chillon Castle, if one is inclined to walk the 5 or 6 miles. Along the way you will find a bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin, who retired and is buried in the area.
The day before I left the carnival cleared out and Vevey was a whole different town. Suddenly it became quiet and peaceful. Almost too quiet and peaceful, with the shops closing at 6:30 each day. My last evening I had dinner at a small cafe on the promenade, right next to the lake wall. As I shared my meal with a very persistent bird and tried to drink in as much as I could of that wonderful view, I knew that this would be a place I would come back to.
Charlie Chaplin was one of Vevey's most famous residents, and it's only fitting and proper that his statue should be featured.
More to come!