The Swiss Open-Air Museum is structured as a foundation, established in 1968 and currently listed in the commercial register under “Stiftung Ballenberg” (“Ballenberg Foundation”). Its main tasks include operating Switzerland’s only open-air museum and running the Ballenberg Course Centre.
The foundation’s purpose is to operate and expand Switzerland’s only open-air museum, while paying heed to the natural landscape of Ballenberg. As a matter of principle, it complies with the statutes of the ICOM (International Council of Museums) and the Association of European Open Air Museums. Furthermore, it backs and encourages endeavours that further the goals of the open-air museum by supporting its course centre.
The Swiss Open-Air Museum is a scientifically grounded institution that conveys and conserves traditional Swiss culture. It strives to collect, research and preserve traditional rural buildings from every part of Switzerland, along with their typical living and working arrangements. Ultimately, its aim is to offer an authentic insight into how people lived, socialised and did business in the past as farmers, craftspeople and tradespeople.
The open-air museum and course centre are intended to serve as a lively cultural hub, offering events such as presentations, conferences, seminars, courses and camps, plus exhibitions, cultural communication and publications.
The foundation also funds contemporary arts and crafts and explores questions relating to ethnology and monument conservation.
The open-air museum, course centre and foundation collaborate with organisations working in related fields within Switzerland and abroad, and support efforts to disseminate information on the various topics with which the museum engages.
The foundation plays a role in educating young people and adults alike.
Its board of trustees consists of at least seven and no more than 13 people. In line with the foundation’s purpose, its members include delegates from corporate bodies and experts in the field.
The statutes and annual reports of the Ballenberg Foundation are available in German and French.