Kunstmuseum Basel houses the Galerie (Gallery) and the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings). The main focus is on paintings and drawings by artists active in the Upper Rhine region between 1400 and 1600 and of the 19th and 21st century. Kunstmuseum Basel possesses the world’s largest collection of works by the Holbein family. Further examples of Renaissance art include major pieces by masters such as Konrad Witz, Martin Schongauer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Matthias Grünewald. Most of these early treasures originally belonged to the collection of a Basel lawyer, Basilius Amerbach. Purchased by the city in 1661, they formed the core of the world’s first public municipal museum. Paintings by Basel-born Arnold Böcklin feature among the 19th-century highlights. In the field of 20th-century art, the accent is on Cubism (Picasso, Braque, Léger), German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism and American art since 1950. Contemporary art is exhibited at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum of Contemporary Art).
Originally conceived for the presentation of the museum’s collections, since the spring of 2016 the main building is once again entirely dedicated to its original purpose while the third venue across the street from the main building, connected to it by an underground passage, has been specifically designed by the local architects Christ & Gantenbein for great special exhibitions held in the skylighted galleries on the third floor.
Contacts & Details
tue, thu, fri, sat, sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; wed 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Reinhard Mucha Solo Show
Since the 1980s, numerous widely acclaimed exhibitions have introduced international audiences to the...
19 Mar 2016 - 15 Oct 2016
Barnett Newman: Drawings and Prints
The American artist Barnett Newman (1905–1970) is a prominent representative of Abstract Expressionism....
19 Apr 2016 - 07 Aug 2016
Sculpture on the Move 1946–2016
In 2002, the Kunstmuseum Basel presented the exhibition “Painting on the Move”. At three...
19 Apr 2016 - 18 Sep 2016
The Figurative Pollock
“When you’re painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge,” Jackson Pollock said...
02 Oct 2016 - 22 Jan 2017
Joëlle Tuerlinckx: Nothing for Eternity
The Kunstmuseum Basel presents the Joëlle Tuerlinckx exhibition “Nothing for Eternity“....
05 Oct 2016 - 26 Feb 2017
Catharina Van Eetvelde: Ilk
Kunstmuseum Basel presents “Ilk”, a solo exhibition by Catharina Van Eetvelde: using an...
26 Nov 2016 - 12 Mar 2017
Cuno Amiet: Sammlung Im Obersteg
Kunstmuseum Basel presents “Sammlung Im Obersteg”, a solo exhibition, curated by Henriette...
11 Oct 2016 - 02 Apr 2017
The Hidden Cézanne. From Sketchbook to Canvas
The exhibition focuses on the artist’s drawings, which enchant the beholder with their rich diversity...
10 Jun 2017 - 24 Sep 2017
¡Hola Prado! Two Collections in Dialogue
In summer 2015 the Kunstmuseum Basel lent ten Picasso paintings to the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid,...
08 Apr 2017 - 20 Aug 2017
Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism
The German artist was very famous for being one of the only ones during his time, in the first half...
10 Jun 2017 - 10 Sep 2017
Maria Lassnig: Dialogues
Deeply felt emotions are at the core of the art of Maria Lassnig (1919–2014). Four years after her...
12 May 2018 - 26 Aug 2018
The Music of Color. Sam Gilliam, 1967–1973
Sam Gilliam (b. Tupelo, Mississippi, 1933) is one of America’s most prominent abstract painters: his...
09 Jun 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
Theaster Gates: Black Madonna
In his exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel, which spreads out across two of the museum’s venues, Theaster...
09 Jun 2018 - 21 Oct 2018
The Cubist Cosmos: From Picasso to Léger
Produced together with the Centre Pompidou, the exhibition collects around 130 works from both this museum...
30 Mar 2019 - 04 Aug 2019
Neu Im Kupferstichkabinett
The Kupferstichkabinett art collection is in constant growth, many of the recent acquisitions have not...
11 Feb 2019 - 23 Jun 2019
Helmut Federle: 19 E. 21ST ST., SIX LARGE PAINTINGS
Featuring six paintings by Helmut Federle created between 1980 and 2005 and a number of works on paper...
25 May 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
Leiko Ikemura: Toward New Seas
Presenting drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Kunstmuseum Basel presents the retrospective dedicated...
11 May 2019 - 01 Sep 2019