About the museum : its founder , its origin

Michel A. Curchod comes to earth on the very late days of 1957. 50 Years after, some journalist will tell of him : “that guy was born with a caul”. In the meantime, how many adventures did he have to face, before he met with his vocation ? Having worn his hat on the far edges of the world, Michel decides around 1989 to make a living of his distinctive sign. It took him 5 years to open his first shop in Lausanne, on April 24th 1994. Followed by a second one in Geneva exactly three years later, and in march 2001 the third jewel in his collection : Coup de Chapeau Bern.

And comes the idea of a museum….

A day of 2007, sitting in the empty patrician room above his shop, Michel’s attention is drawn by the antique decorated stove : each faience square is painted with a figure wearing a hat ! It’s springtime, and he has to think of the next “Einmaliges Objekt” (One-time object, unique object …) he will display in his shop windows for the traditional autumn rendez-vous held by all shops of the old Bern, which event attracts thousands of enthusiasts. As a sudden, a bell rings in his mind, that’s it, we are going to open a one-time hat museum.

Initially conceived to last only the time of the event, i.e. one week, the museum took a considerable investment and more than two months of construction. The numerous objects (amongst these rarities, some being unique) were to come of the diverse places Michel had to stock these, between the diverse exhibitions he used to do on demand.

The opening day draw hundreds of people, amongst them city’s authorities. The Mayor of Bern, Mr. Alexander Tschäppätt, proposing to deposit here his personal ceremony hat, when not wearing it. Adding to the initial success, an ancient Bernese Hat-Maker, Hans-Ruedi Schlupp, proposed to held the museum and to do guided tours during till year-end of 2007.

Three years later, the museum is still here, added with lots of new acquisitions, showing to all interested Michel’s unbelievable collection. Two new guides have joined it, Mr. Alberto Meyer, former curator in the Museum of Communication in Bern, and Mr. Fritz Gilgen, retired architect, also in charge of another place of interest of the old Bern : The washhouse (Wöschhüsli)
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