Exhibitions Temporary exhibition

Henry Dunant + Gustave Moynier : Friends and Foes

From 22 September 2010 to 8 May 2011

As fate had it that these two fellow protagonists who played a decisive role in founding the Red Cross disappeared the same year, it seems appropriate to hold a commemorative exhibition to retrace the parallel and intertwined paths of these two historical figures.

If the name Henry Dunant is widely known in the whole world, his actions and his existence are not familiar to everyone. Therefore, it seems necessary to recall his memory. On the other hand, Gustave Moynier does not enjoy the same fame. His activity was nevertheless indispensable to the creation and durability of the Red Cross which seems inseparable from the present world; the exhibition will thus reveal the important role Gustave Moynier played as President of the ICRC for over forty years.

Although they shared the same cause, history very often opposed Dunant and Moynier. Allies during the early stages, the two men quickly confronted each other on the general orientation of their humanitarian action and then competed to obtain recognition. Motivated by his pragmatism and committed to build a solid structure for the institution, Moynier played an active role in isolating Dunant, the idealist, after his financial difficulties, and prevented him from returning to business to the point of jeopardizing his means of subsistence. This conflict lasted throughout their lives and they never reconciled. In fact, Moynier has a rather negative image as victimizer of Dunant, the martyr.

An exhibition by the Association Henry Dunant + Gustave Moynier, 1910-2010 at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva.