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best-design-guides-Museums-iin-Basel- city-of-art-and-culture-vitrahaus_showrooms

Museums in Basel – city of art and culture

It will be true to say that Basel is a city of art and culture par excellence and a must-see destination for any trip to Switzerland. The Basel museums encompass a series of museums in the city of Basel, Switzerland, and the neighboring region. They represent a broad spectrum of collections with a marked concentration in the fine arts and house numerous holdings of international significance.

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Stadt und Münstermuseum

This museum, housed in the remains of a 13th century monastery, features medieval sculptures from Basel Cathedral. Made from red sandstone and wood, the collection features gargoyles, equestrian statures, reliefs, and friezes. Examples of architectural remnants on display include capitals, stalls, and a plaster reproduction of St. Gall Gate.

Vitra Design Museum

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Designed by famed California architect Frank O. Gehry, this prestigious contemporary museum is one of the world’s leading venues for exhibitions that focus on current trends in industrial furniture design and architecture. The unusual stark white geometric complex is aligned with the furniture manufacturer, Vitra. Among the unique exhibits is the towering Wall of Chairs. Museum programming also features special workshops and publication projects.

Tinguely Museum

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This museum, which is located on the banks of the Rhine, was designed specifically to house the works of one of Switzerland’s greatest contemporary artist, sculptor Jean Tinguely. On display are 70 of Tinguely’s whimsical mechanized sculptures that were created over a span of four decades. In addition, many of the artist’s drawings and writings, which chronicle the development of these works, are exhibited. The delightful works are displayed over four levels along with a rotating schedule of changing exhibitions.

Museum für Gegenwartskunst

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This museum, which is situated in a modern-styled building, houses one of Europe’s leading collections of modern art. The wide range of materials and formats include installation art, photography, mixed media, book art, sculpture, and painting. The collections reflect such movements as minimalist art, conceptual art, free figurative art, and art povera. Artists featured include Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, Jonathan Borofsky, Joseph Beuys, Frank Stella, and Donald Judd.

Fondation Beyeler

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Located in a Basel suburb called Riehen, this public home features an extensive collection of 20th century art, including Monet landscapes, post-impressionist works by Cezanne and Matisse, pop art creations by Lichtenstein and Rauschenberg, Giacometti’s wiry figure sculptures, the primitive-inspired paintings of Paul Klee and Jean Dubuffet, and a fabulous selection of works by Pablo Picasso.


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Located a short distance from Kunstmuseum, this gallery is managed by local artists and displays experimental works by contemporary artists, which is a tradition that has been in place since 1872. This important exhibition space is among the leading venues in Switzerland for the display of trend-setting modern art.


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This is one of the finest museums in Basel and the oldest in Switzerland. The Kunstmuseum features an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century art, including works from the impressionist, expressionist, surrealist, and abstract periods. Artists include Auguste Rodin, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. Other collections represent the development of regional art from the 14th to 17th centuries, including the works of the Holbein family.

Whether you are an artist yourself, or just one who admires museums, you’re sure to enjoy your visit.

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