The Kunstmuseum Basel

Inauguration of the enlarged Kunstmuseum Basel

A new era in the history of Kunstmuseum Basel is about to begin: a new extension has risen across the street from the museum’s main building, to which it is connected by an underground passage. The new gallery building, which will accommodate special exhibitions as well as presentations of art from our collections, will be inaugurated with a two-day celebration in mid-April (4/17–18), when we will also reopen the thoroughly renovated main building. The Kunstmuseum Basel will then present art at no fewer than three venues: the main building, the new extension, and the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart.

Masterworks from the Kunstmuseum Basel are currently on view in the exhibition Cézanne to Richter at the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart (through February 21), which also features the exhibitions Cy Twombly. Painting and Sculpture (through March 13) and Reinhard Mucha (opens March 19). Admission to the museum will be free until the inauguration of the enlarged Kunstmuseum Basel.

Moreover, central pieces from the Kunstmuseum Basel’s treasures are on display in Holbein. Cranach. Grünewald, an exhibition at the Museum der Kulturen Basel (through February 28).

On Sunday, April 17, and Monday, April 18, as we celebrate the start of a new era, the public will enjoy free admission to all three venues, including the new special exhibition Sculpture on the Move 1946–2016 and the exhibition Barnett Newman—Drawings and Prints.

The Kunstmuseum Basel is home to one of the largest and oldest public museum collections in Europe. In its unique history, it has assembled works from the early fifteenth century to the present.

The 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.

The 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 Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart.

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