Passion, Power and Pepper

1798 to 1848: A wind of change is blowing through Switzerland. The stage is set for the emergence of a modern nation state – and official politics are run by men. But what is the role of women in these eventful years between the Helvetic Republic and the formation of the Swiss Federation?

On this tour we meet the so-called ‘Pepper Women’ of Lucerne. We also get to know Anna-Maria Rüttimann – a member of an influential patrician family – as well as Katharina Schmid, a former nun turned citizen. Elisabeth Wespi, who is considered ‚stateless’ by the young federal state, tells us about her life on the margins of society. We also make the acquaintance of four French nurses. Finally, does the term ‘male guardianship’ ring a bell?

Grossaquarium für menschliche Tiere, Weltausstellung für Photographie in Luzern 1952. Fred Mayer, ATP:RBA1-1_Ausstellungen-5_1
© StAAG / RBA