Hermann Haller’s workshop in Zürich

If you come to Zürich in the summer months (July-October), starting in 2025, you might be able to visit the workshop of the Swiss sculptor Hermann Haller at Höschgasse 8a, near the eastern shore of Lake Zürich.

At other times of year you can take a peek through the window, as I did, and see one of two of his sculptures. In addition to finished sculptures, the atelier also houses a large collection of his sketches, studies and fragments, as well as plaster models of some of his larger sculptures.

Hermann Haller was born in Bern in 1880. Towards the end of his life he lived and worked in Zürich, where he died in 1950. Haller was a close friend of the painter Paul Klee, who was also from Bern.

Another of Hermann Haller’s friends was the author Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), who borrowed the sculptor’s name for Harry Haller, the protagonist of his novel Der Steppenwolf, first published in 1927.

(I first heard of the sculptor Hermann Haller sixty-some years ago, while reading up on Hermann Hesse and his Steppenwolf.)

Sign in front Haller’s workshop

Haller himself designed the atelier, which was built in 1932. It is now a listed building, but is in need of some major repairs, so it will remain closed in 2023 and 2024, and is scheduled to re-open in the summer of 2025. Work has to be done especially on the foundations, but also on parts of the roof, the façade and the windows, while taking care to preserve the “authentic ambience” of the building.

My photos in this post are from 2010. I revised the text in 2023.

See more posts on Zürich, Switzerland.
See my posts on the ateliers of Antoine Bourdelle and Ossip Zadkine in Paris.

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