The Engadin boasts the third-greatest concentration of galleries in Switzerland, and its art scene rivals those of the major cities. The walk from one exhibition venue to the next is pure pleasure, too: the scenic setting is as stimulating and inspiring as the art itself.
In 2016, the renowned auction house Sotheby’s sold an oil painting by the celebrated Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler. “Lake Champfèr” shows the sublime view from Silvaplana over the sparkling blue Lake Champfèr and up to the dramatic Piz Padella. The view may be priceless, but the magnificent picture changed hands for CHF 2.17 million.
Many other artists alongside Hodler appreciated the exceptional landscapes and the special quality of light in the Engadin, including Cuno Amiet, Alberto Giacometti, Wilhelm F. Burger and Emil Nolde. Giovanni Segantini even chose to make the Engadin his home, spending his final years here. So it is not surprising that one of the most comprehensive collections of his work can be seen in the Engadin: at the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz. As Segantini lay dying high above the valley floor, his final words were “Voglio vedere le mie montagne” (I want to see my mountains); he then closed his eyes and passed away. On his deathbed he was painted by no less an artist than his friend Giovanni Giacometti, who also spent a lot of time in the Engadin.
The Engadin is not only a popular subject for works of art and a place of inspiration, in recent years it has also grown into a hotspot for international art. Renowned international galleries have opened branches in the Engadin to the delight of locals and holidaymakers who enjoy fine art. The gallery Hauser & Wirth, for example, added St. Moritz to its locations in December 2018 – alongside New York, Hong Kong and London. The Engadin’s cultural scene also includes a variety of museums devoted to the region’s history and culture. A fine example is the fascinating Museum Engiadinais, whose 21 exhibition rooms explore lifestyle and living conditions in the Engadin and neighbouring regions over 500 years.
Visitors who find their energy may flag in a museum should head to Zuoz, where the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans fills the air. At Cafè Badilatti, Europe’s highest-altitude coffee roasting facility, everyone has a spring in their step. The venue’s Caferama coffee museum reveals the intriguing story of coffee – and how it came to the Engadin.