Alte Bündner Bauweise und Volkskunst, by Hans Jenny. 8 vo., 178 pages, with 209 figures, 25 of which are in color, from drawings and painting by the author. Chur: Bischofberger & Co., 1939.
The climber who feels that the Alps have lost the glow of their golden age can do worse than spend his days of bad weather in becoming better acquainted with peasant art. He will by little study open to himself a new world of beauty, to which Prof. Jenny’s book serves as an introduction. The author is a great artist and by word and picture illustrates the charming architecture of the Inn headwaters: the massive stone houses with their sgraffito decoration, the remarkable ironwork, the wooden houses with their carved inscriptions. All of this craftsmanship originated amongst humble peasants who, at the same time, might be hunters or mountain guides. Let us, therefore, not think of them only as men who could cut a good step or properly handle a rope, but also as artisans who, on occasion, could turn out work for which museums might one day clamor. Prof. Jenny, a teacher at Chur, has spent much of his life in making a pictorial record of these aspects of his native Switzerland, wisely limiting himself to the Grisons valleys he knows so well.