Kunsthalle Basel

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Kunsthalle Basel (street side)
Exhibition poster 1898

The Kunsthalle Basel is a place where contemporary art is exhibited, discussed and reflected, and has been since its foundation in 1872. It is a place of exhibitions that unite local and international, avant-garde and contemporary tendencies and offers space for exhibiting new artistic ones Work and methods as well as for a supporting program that includes artist talks and performances as well as film and music events. Located next to the Stadttheater Basel and opposite the Konzerthaus Stadtcasino , it is part of the cultural center of Basel. Since the end of 2014, the Kunsthalle Basel has been headed by Los Angeles-born Elena Filipovic , the first director of the Kunsthalle Basel.


The establishment was initiated by the merger of the Basler Kunstverein, founded in 1839, and the Basler Künstlergesellschaft in 1864. At the inauguration of the building in the spring of 1872, the then President of the Basler Kunstverein, Johann Jakob Im Hof , summarized the function of the Kunsthalle programmatically as follows: «To prepare a place for the visual arts in order to stimulate and promote interest in our hometown, to spread, as well as to maintain friendly relationships among artists and art lovers. "

In the 1920s and 1930s, before the opening of the Kunstmuseum Basel, the now homeless public art collection of the city of Basel was kept and exhibited in the Kunsthalle Basel. Due to the ongoing critical financial situation, the building was temporarily rented to government authorities in the 1950s before it returned to the possession of the Basler Kunstverein after the renovation in 1969.


Financed by the income from two ferry services across the Rhine, the Kunsthalle Basel was built between 1869 and 1872 according to plans by the architect Johann Jakob Stehlin-Burckhardts . Artists such as Arnold Böcklin , Carl Brünner , Ernst Stückelberg and Charles Iguel were involved in the artistic decoration of the building. Since it was built, there has been a club room on the ground floor, which is now run independently as the "Restaurant Kunsthalle".

Up until 1927 the building was architecturally expanded several times in order to set up a sculptor's studio, which was rented to Ferdinand Schlöth from 1874 , as well as a sculpture hall (today the «Stadtkino Basel»). The Kunsthalle Basel was extensively renovated for the first time between 1969 and 1973. The library, whose holdings go back to the year the Kunstverein was founded and which today focuses on contemporary art publications, was housed in the former caretaker's quarter in 1992.

In 2004 further extensive renovations were carried out by the architects Miller & Maranta . The requirement for this was to preserve the old splendor of the building while at the same time bringing it up to date in order to meet the requirements of contemporary exhibitions. The original meaning and function of the building - i.e. the interplay of architecture and art - should be preserved as well as possible. In connection with the renovation, the Swiss Architecture Museum S AM was also integrated on the first floor of the building.

Management of the art gallery


Web links

Commons : Kunsthalle Basel  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Hess : Between Winckelmann and Winkelried. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Berlin 2010, p. 73.

Coordinates: 47 ° 33 '13.8 "  N , 7 ° 35' 27"  E ; CH1903:  611,457  /  two hundred and sixty-seven thousand and twenty-four