The Department of Education and Communication at the Kunstmuseum Basel, is now offering school tours in English. These are open to all schools, as well as students on apprenticeship courses and college students (the tours can also be adapted to the level of spoken English, for non-native speakers). The aim of these tours is to encourage a lively discussion about a group of paintings, under the one of the themes provided. This allows the students to express their own ideas as well as discovering what the artists had in mind when creating their work. Each tour will be adapted to its own specific age group, with the opportunity available to extend the tour to include a practical workshop.
Duration: 90 Min., BS/BL free, other CHF 220.-
Registration: Tel. +41 (0) 61 206 63 00 or > here
Picasso | Kunstmuseum
Picasso was an artist whose work triggered off an explosion of new ideas in art and this tour is aimed at tracing that development. Starting with one of the masterpieces from his Rose Period: “The Two Brothers”, 1906, we will see how he begins to introduce the subtle manipulation of detail and reduction of colour. Then, along with another artist George Braque, he turns the whole world of art on its head, by inventing what we call today Cubism, where he restructures and fragments imagery and looks at the world from several different angles at the same time! Continuing with an example of later works, we can follow how he uses these modern ideas, sometimes even combining them with a more traditional approach.
(This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
The Impressionists and their Successors | Kunstmuseum
The Kunstmuseum holds a magnificent collection of Impressionist paintings, as well as work from the Post-Impressionists: Gauguin, Van Gogh and Cézanne. This tour intends to follow the first steps of the Impressionists and how they began to represent nature according to the light and atmosphere unique to that moment in time. We will continue with the Post- Impressionists who profited from these innovative ideas and adapted them to their own personal styles. Gauguin became fascinated with the symbolic use of colour, Van Gogh with its expressive implications and Cézanne structured form through colour, creating a harmony throughout the painting.Finally, Monet will surprise us with his radical late works, where he depicts areas of his garden in melted forms of luscious hues. (This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical activity can be included for primary school levels.)
The Language of Colour | Kunstmuseum
Colour is something that is important to our every day life. In this tour, the group will study and discuss the use of colour in art, going back to the 1400’s, when colour was used to impress the viewer by creating a feeling of awe. Jumping ahead a few centuries, with work from artists such as Böcklin and Gauguin, we will see how colour takes on a more symbolic meaning. The findings of scientific studies on colour were to influence artists such as Robert Delaunay and with “Homage to Blériot”, 1914, we can see what innovations he adapted to his work. Colour takes on a more emotive standpoint, as its use is developed throughout the ages and the tour concludes with the 20th century, when some artists were to abandon representational art for abstraction where colour becomes the soul language.
(This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
Cubism and its Influence | Kunstmuseum
This tour is aimed at studying how Cubism was to tip the scales of 20th century art, setting artists off on a quest to evolve a form we know today as Abstraction.We will view Cubism first through its two creators, Picasso and Braque, having the opportunity to look at key works, questioning how they came to create such an art form and asking what impression it leaves on the viewer. Following on with two of their contemporaries; Juan Gris and Fernand Léger, who were fascinated by these revolutionary developments, the students can detect what changes they made to the original ideas.As with any good idea, the ball didn’t stop rolling there and we will continue to track the refinement of Cubism, to the purer of form of line and colour that we call abstraction. (This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
All You Need is Love | Kunstmuseum
Love is an age old theme and in this tour the students can look at how a group of chosen artists, tackled this elusive emotion in their own work. The group will be encouraged to give their own views as to how effectively the artists have achieved the various aspects of love and talk generally about the subject itself.Where better to start than with depictions of Greek Mythology and how artists use myths to address themes about passion, despair and longing. Continuing with the sometimes tempestuous relationship between the two sexes, Kokoschka reveals in his painting “The Tempest”, the upheaval of his emotions, through swirling forms and cool coloured tones, whereas Roy Lichtenstein uses cartoon imagery to illustrate a more distant approach.Picasso for example, captures in “The Two Brothers”, the warmth and dependence that can exist between siblings and Kirchner’s wooden sculpture “The Two Friends”, addresses friendship and the importance of comradeship. (This tour is for middle and upper school levels and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
The American Connection | Kunstmuseum
The Basel Kunstmuseum has a comprehensive collection of American artists and this tour offers the prospect of encountering works by the Abstract Expressionists, Pop Artists and beyond, to work from Bruce Nauman and Dan Flavin.
In the work of the Abstract Expressionists; the group will discover what ideas were behind these works and what personal feelings the artists wish to evoke. The Pop Art movement, which was to question the emotional drive of Abstract Expressionism, take aspects from everyday life and apparently just transfers them to the canvas; or do they? Traces of both these ideas are incorporated into the work of Nauman and Flavin and the group will be encouraged to consider what links there are to the previous artwork and what is new. (This tour is for middle and upper school levels and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
A Treasury of Swiss Artists | KunstmuseumThis is an ideal opportunity to introduce classes to a group of prominent Swiss artists showcased within the walls of the Kunstmuseum. Concentrating on exhibits by Böcklin, Hodler, Klee and Giacometti, we will follow the significance of Symbolism in Swiss art.Commencing with Arnold Böcklin, the group will discover how he evokes a unique atmosphere, having an impressive feel for composition, colour and subject matter. Ferdinand Hodler incorporates symbolic elements both in his landscapes as well as his figure paintings. Taking colour, line, form and theory, Paul Klee combines these components with the materials he used, as well as those included in the background itself. Last but not least, the Kunstmuseum has an extensive collection of work from Alberto Giacometti, ranging from his early Surrealist style to his famous thin figures, giving the groups a chance to discover the ideas behind his pieces and contemplate why he changed from the abstract to the figurative. (This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
Portraiture has a long history in art and the students will have the chance to study its development extending from the 16th century through the ages, into the 20th. Starting with Hans Holbein the Younger, we will be able to see how he not only achieves a remarkable resemblance to the sitter, in the portrait of his family, but captures a sense of pathos too. The tour will continue to include a variety of portraits, looking at not only the way the models are depicted, but what emotions the artists wish to represent and how the painterly style slowly becomes more important than achieving a definite likeness itself. (This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
It’s All Abstract to Me | Kunstmuseum
Abstract painting can sometimes appear somewhat baffling to the viewer. By looking at the works of various artists and discussing their ideas, this tour is intended to bring the students into a discussion about what made the artists turn towards abstraction and away from, the more traditional, figurative art. We will also be touching upon the idea that what is achieved in Abstraction, cannot necessarily be attained with a purely figurative approach. Work will be considered, where the colour is radically reduced to one or two colours, so that the group can contemplate what affect these particular colours have on them. Other artists may use an array of marks and signs, although being personal to them, can also, awaken certain associations in the viewer. Geometrical forms often appear in abstract art too and it will be interesting to compare the difference to the previous more expressive style.Not wanting to limit the “abstract experience” to two-dimensional painting, the tour will include three-dimensional sculptures and wall reliefs. (This tour is for middle and upper school levels and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)
Expressive Gesture | Kunstmuseum
When we communicate, we don’t just remain within the limits of the spoken word, but underline our feelings and meanings with gestural movement. In the world of art it is no different and by following individual artists over the centuries, the group will be able to work out for themselves and discuss what has been achieved through the use of gesture, within a group of chosen works.We will return down the centuries to work from Hans Holbein, looking at how he used the various postures of his figures to make the image livelier and create a rhythm. Or with the Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin, we can admire his incredible creativity, when it came to incorporating gesture and what apparently seems energetic and full of movement, we will find is governed by a structured composition. Sometimes no movement at all can say more than words, let’s discover together how the artists confront this aspect too. (This tour can be adapted to all age groups and a practical workshop activity can be included if wished.)