The Patron’s Familiy
The Brown industrialist family in Baden
In 1891, the inventor and engineer Charles Eugene Lancelot Brown (1863–1924) joined Walter Boveri to found the Baden firm of Brown, Boveri & Cie. (BBC). His brother, Sidney William Brown (1865–1941), also moved to Baden, where he worked as a technical director and delegate for the administrative board of the BBC company. The two brothers were the children of the English engineer Charles Brown Senior (1827–1905) and Winterthur citizen Eugenie Pfau (1845– 1929). The firm soon began to flourish, and developed into a global business (known as ABB since 1988).
The Brown family at Villa Langmatt
In 1896, Sidney W. Brown married art-lover Jenny Sulzer (1871–1968), daughter of the head of the Winterthur company Gebrü-der Sulzer AG. The couple had the Villa Langmatt built in 1899–1901, and accumulated an impressive art collection. Sidney W. and Jenny Brown and their three sons supported many artists and musicians of the era, and led a lively social life centred on the Villa Langmatt.
The middle son of the husband-and-wife art collectors, John Alfred Brown (born in 1900), died in 1987, as the last heir of the family name. Like his brothers Sidney Hamlet (1898–1970) and Harry Frank (1905–1972), he died childless. He bequeathed the Villa Langmatt to the city of Baden together with its furnishings and valuable art collection, stipulating in his will that the en-semble should be turned into a museum. The city of Baden duly founded the public foundation “Stiftung Langmatt Sidney und Jenny Brown” (the patron having requested that the foundation be named after his parents). In 1990, the doors of the Museum Langmatt were opened to the public for the first time.