In memory of Dr.Katia Guth-Dreyfus

In memory of Dr. Katia Guth-Dreyfus

We Mourn the Loss of our Founding Director

The staff of the Jewish Muse­um of Switz­er­land mourn the loss of its foun­ding direc­tor, Dr. Katia Guth-Drey­fus. For half a cen­tu­ry, she enri­ched Basel with a uni­que cul­tu­ral insti­tu­ti­on: the Jewish Muse­um of Switzerland.

Katia Drey­fus was born in Basel in 1926 as the daugh­ter of Vera and Paul Drey­fus-de Gunz­burg. She atten­ded Leo­nards Girls’ Grammar School from 1937 and stu­di­ed art histo­ry and archaeo­lo­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Basel from 1945.

Her stu­dies took her to Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty and the Cour­tauld Insti­tu­te of Art in Lon­don. She mar­ried Hans Guth (1913–2010) in Febru­a­ry 1951 and com­ple­ted her doc­to­ra­te four mon­ths later. Katia Guth-Drey­fus and Hans Guth had three children.

While her child­ren were still young, Katia Guth-Drey­fus gui­ded groups of visi­tors through the Art Muse­um of Basel. She ser­ved the Art Muse­um for 25 years as pre­si­dent of the «Friends of the Art Muse­um Basel» asso­cia­ti­on. In 1966, she was instru­men­tal in foun­ding the Jewish Muse­um of Switz­er­land. She direc­ted the Jewish Muse­um for 44 years.

In the 1980s, Katia Guth-Drey­fus worked on the com­mit­tee for the reno­va­ti­on of the Basel Syn­ago­gue and was the first woman to give an offi­cial speech the­re after the reno­va­ti­on work was com­ple­ted. She publis­hed nume­rous arti­cles and sup­por­ted the estab­lish­ment of the Jewish Stu­dies pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Basel.

Dr. Katia Guth-Drey­fus will remain unf­or­got­ten in the Jewish Muse­um of Switz­er­land. May her memo­ry be a blessing.

On behalf of the team of the Jewish Museum:

Nao­mi Lubrich
Dinah Ehrenfreund
Kath­rin Gisin
Bar­ba­ra Häne
Ele­na Hasche­mi Schirazi
Elwi­ra Spychalska
and Anna Rabin.

verfasst am 26.09.2021