Exhibition view, Photo: Beny Hofer

Exhibition view, permanent exhibition, Photo: Beny Hofer

Exhibition view, permanent exhibition, Photo: Beny Hofer

1. March – 29. November 2020

The permanent exhibition 360° imparts background information to the panorama in four sections: The “main protagonist” of the panorama, the artist Marquard Wocher, is presented here. One section gives an insight into the creation of the panoramic picture, follows the fortunes of the painting to this day and makes its former popularity comprehendible. And one section is devoted to the numerous stories in the picture that speak of that time.

Who is Marquard Wocher, who single-handedly undertook the painting of the first cyclorama of Switzerland? Where and how was the panorama of Thun created and what is the meaning of the term “panorama”? Playfully and diversely the permanent exhibition 360° leads the viewers behind the scenes, and illuminates the background story of the oldest surviving cyclorama in the world.

Pictures, sketches, notes, objects and digital reconstructions are collected on the ground floor of the rotunda built by the former city architect Karl Keller in the late 50s. The versatile exhibition is divided into four stations, which guide the visitors through the room.

The first station deals with the artist’s life. The prelude to Marquard Wocher is in the form of an installation by the artist Zilla Leutenegger. By means of an audio narration, one can listen to, among others, the voice of his wife, the wealthy widow Anna Maria Fatio, or the customer Mr. Ufelmann. The voices tell how they perceive the artist and originator respectively. A snakes and ladders game invites especially younger children to play and tarry. The odyssey of the cyclorama is presented in the second station. After the panorama had been sold, inherited and passed on and had been forgotten for some time, it arrived at Thun Schadaupark in 1961. Its restoration is also taken up here. The elaborate restoration work is explained in detail in a film by Leila Kühni. Another focus is on the phenomenon of the panorama itself, the first mass medium ever. The third station provides information on its patenting in the 18th century and on the present use of panoramas. Various items in the fourth station finally refer to the history of the town of Thun and lead the visitors back to the actual work of art. Countless stories inspire and tempt the viewers to go further into the many details in the panoramic picture and to discover many new and surprising things.