Art Museum Basel

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Art Museum Basel
Basel - 2017 - Kunstmuseum Basel - Altbau.jpg
Main building (2017)
place Basel
Art museum
architect Paul Bonatz , Rudolf Christ (main building); Emanuel Christ , Christoph Gantenbein (extension building)
Extension (2017)

The Kunstmuseum Basel is an internationally renowned museum for fine arts . With the “Amerbach-Kabinett” acquired by the city in 1661, the Kunstmuseum Basel is the oldest public art museum in the world and houses the largest public art collection in Switzerland.


Today's main building of the museum is next to the former building of the Swiss National Bank on St. Alban-Graben in Basel . The neoclassical museum building was planned and implemented from 1931 to 1936 by Paul Bonatz and Rudolf Christ. The main building of the art museum is divided into three floors (ground floor, 1st and 2nd floor).

An extension of the architecture firm Christ & Gantenbein was opened in 2016.

In addition to the main building and the extension, the Kunstmuseum Basel also includes the Museum of Contemporary Art on St. Alban-Rheinweg , which was put into operation in 1980. In addition to presentations from the collection, various temporary exhibitions on contemporary art can be seen in the Museum of Contemporary Art . In addition, a permanent installation by Joseph Beuys is on display on the upper floor of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst .


Entrance to the art museum (main building) (2006)

Public art collection Basel

The art museum's collection, the Basel Public Art Collection , comprises around 4,000 paintings , sculptures , installations and videos as well as 300,000 drawings and prints from seven centuries, making it the largest public art collection in Switzerland.

The old masters are among others with works by Hans Holbein the Elder . J. , Konrad Witz , Martin Schongauer , Lucas Cranach the Elder. Ä. , Matthias Grünewald , Rubens and Rembrandt . The museum has a large collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century. The impressionists of the 19th century are represented by Paul Cézanne , Paul Gauguin , Vincent van Gogh , Camille Pissarro , Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir , among others . There are also works of German, Austrian and Swiss painting from the 18th and 19th centuries, for example by Cuno Amiet , Ferdinand Hodler , Johann Heinrich Füssli , Michael Wutky and Robert Zünd . The large Böcklin collection includes works such as the first version of Böcklin's painting of the island of the dead as well as well-known works such as the battle of the Centaurs , the plague and the game of the naiads.

The exhibits of sculpture and painting from the 20th century include works by Picasso , Braque and Juan Gris . The Expressionism is, among others, by Edvard Munch , Franz Marc , Oskar Kokoschka and Emil Nolde represented. There are also works of art from Constructivism , Dadaism and Surrealism . Of these are as representative Piet Mondrian , Salvador Dalí , Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy called.

Amerbach Cabinet

The Basel Art Museum has the largest collection of works by the Holbein family in the world. The older holdings of the museum go back in part to the Basel collector Basilius Amerbach (1533–1591), whose father Bonifacius was friends with the humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam and the painter Hans Holbein . In 1661 the city acquired the private collection. The so-called "Amerbach-Kabinett" was one of the first museums in Europe to be owned by an urban community.

The Amerbach collection was housed in the Haus zur Mücke from 1671 to 1849 and part of it in the university library . In 1849 she moved to the museum on Augustinergasse (today the Natural History Museum Basel ). The lack of space meant that the art collection was given branches in the Augustinerhof on Augustinergasse (Kupferstichkabinett) and in the Bachofenhaus on Münsterplatz (Bachofen collection with other holdings), and in 1928 the main part found a temporary home in the Kunsthalle . In 1936 the art collection found its home in the newly opened art museum.

Picasso donation

In 1967 the Picasso paintings Les deux frères (1906) and Arlequin assis (1923), which had been on loan for many years, threatened to be sold. In a referendum, the population of Basel-Stadt approved a state loan of 6 million Swiss francs, and the citizens also collected 2.4 million francs to purchase the two paintings for the art museum. Picasso was so touched by this that he donated four more works to the city: Homme, femme et enfant (1906), a design drawing for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and the two great late works Vénus et l'amour and Le couple from 1967 The then museum director, Franz Meyer, was allowed to choose it himself in Picasso's studio. Finally, Maja Sacher -Stehlin added the Cubist work Le poète from 1912 to this donation .

Kupferstichkabinett and specialist library

The Kupferstichkabinett is located in a separate sector of the house , with a rich collection of drawings and original graphics from the 15th century to the present day. With over 300,000 hand drawings, watercolors and prints, it is the largest publicly accessible collection in Switzerland and is also one of the most important collections of its kind internationally. In addition to drawings by Albrecht Dürer , 50 drawings by Paul Cézanne are on display from five sketchbooks . In the field of modern to contemporary art, the collection has complexes of works by Swiss, German, Italian and American artists, including Joseph Beuys , Andy Warhol , Jasper Johns , Georg Baselitz , AR Penck , Brice Marden , Bruce Nauman , Miriam Cahn , Jonathan Borofsky , Roni Horn , Francesco Clemente , Mimmo Paladino , Enzo Cucchi , Walter Dahn , Martin Disler , Silvia Bächli , Siegfried Anzinger , Leiko Ikemura , Markus Raetz , Robert Therrien , Rosemarie Trockel and Robert Gober .

In addition to the museum, there is also a publicly accessible specialist library , which is also the library of the art history seminar at the University of Basel . The library has been located in the former building of the National Bank in Italian Renaissance style, which is next to the museum, since January 2005.

Exhibitions (selection)

From April to September 2009 the house showed 70 landscape paintings by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh . Chronologically, the exhibition offered an overview of all periods of his creative time. The exhibition was supplemented by 40 paintings by his contemporaries. Loans from important museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Belvedere in Vienna and the National Gallery in London have been collected. The exhibition attracted more than half a million visitors.

As a takeover of the Center Pompidou in Paris , but condensed from 330 exhibits to a total of 130 works, the museum showed Cubism from March to August 2019 in its decade from 1907 to 1917. Cosmos Cubism showed works by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque , Juan Gris , André Derain , Henri Laurens ; Robert and Sonia Delaunay and Albert Gleizes as the cornerstones of an inhomogeneous art movement. Lesser known artists such as Henri Le Fauconnier or Jean Metzinger and Fernand Léger were also there.

Until 2015, many works by the Rudolf Staechelin Family Trust were exhibited in the art museum.



See also


  • Eugen Külborn (editor): Galeria Mundi. A trip through the museums. Hoechst, Frankfurt am Main 1981, without ISBN (pp. 106–127 Public Art Collection, Basel ).
  • Alexander Hosch: Architecture Guide Switzerland, the best buildings of the 21st century. Callwey, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-7667-2149-5 , p. 252.
  • Edited by Bernhard Mendes Bürgi and Nina Zimmer : Kunstmuseum Basel. Present Modern Old Masters. A museum guide with selected works. Kunstmuseum Basel 2016, German ISBN 978-3-7204-0229-3 , English ISBN 978-3-7204-0230-9 , French ISBN 978-3-7204-0231-6 .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fellmann: 550 years of the University of Basel. Retrieved September 23, 2017 .
  2. Basel Symphony in Gray., April 15, 2016.
  3. Our three houses. Accessed January 21, 2020 .
  4. Kunstmuseum Basel. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  5. The Picassos are here! - Kunstmuseum Basel. Retrieved April 11, 2019 .
  6. Collection Moments - Kunstmuseum Basel. Retrieved April 11, 2019 .
  7. ^ Large Van Gogh exhibition in Basel. In: , November 20, 2008.
  8. 550,000 people visited the Van Gogh exhibition in Basel. Tages-Anzeiger , September 25, 2009, archived from the original on September 28, 2009 ; accessed on March 11, 2016 .
  9. Exhibition “Cosmos Cubism”: Great awakening in small cubes. FAZ from June 25, 2019, accessed June 26, 2019.
  10. Michael Baas: Growth for the Fondation. Badische Zeitung, November 13, 2018, accessed on November 13, 2018 .
  11. Future director from September 1, 2016. Media release Kunstmuseum Basel ( Memento from June 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ).

Coordinates: 47 ° 33 '15.1 "  N , 7 ° 35' 39.2"  E ; CH1903:  611712  /  267 065