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2018 Basel Design Guide

2018 Basel Design Guide – Get to know the best places to visit in Basel!

Art Galleries

Basel is dotted with outstanding cutting-edge contemporary art galleries – many of which frequently participate in the fair. Take a look at ten of the most prominent galleries and art spaces in Basel.

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Kunsthalle

Among the oldest and most revered cultural institutions in Basel, Kunsthalle’s history began in 1872 when it was inaugurated as a place to showcase artistic activity and stimulate a creative exchange between artists and art professionals. The Kunsthalle has a collection of about 500 artworks.

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Galerie Carzaniga

Reflecting Switzerland’s geographical position as a bridge between Germany and Italy, Basel’s gallery Carzaniga exhibits contemporary works of art by German, Italian and Swiss artists (Bruno Suter, Serge Brignoni and Julius Bissier, among others), and publishes insightful catalogues and monographs of the exhibited artists.

Fondation Beyeler

Fondation Beyeler features art inside, outside and all around. Inside, the foundation’s permanent collection consists of around 250 paintings and sculptures by celebrated modern masters such as Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso.

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Mitart

Basel’s Mitart Gallery is home to artists working with painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and video installations. Each year, the gallery brings the works of talented national and international artists to the public’s attention through a number of solo and group shows.

Stampa

Founded in 1969 by Gilli and Diego Stampa, Stampa has established itself as a space to ignite and propel a creative dialogue between the Swiss and international art scenes. Stampa was the first space to showcase the works of now acclaimed artists such as Vito Acconci, Miriam Cahn and Marlene Dumas, during exhibitions that exemplified collaboration between artist and gallery.

Balzer Projects

Balzer Projects is synonymous with cutting-edge, forwarding-thinking art. This gallery aims to test the limits of contemporary art practices, and is especially committed to scouting new, talented artists from around the world. Unique to Balzer Projects are smaller and shorter-lived, but they enable the artists involved to set up an exhibit, presentation or performance, and present it to a select public of colleagues and collectors, alongside other visitors.

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Schaulager

Art foundations that loan their possessions to exhibitions in museums, galleries, and institutions usually have storage space set aside the non-exhibited items. The Emanuel Hoffman Foundation’s warehouse is a unique one. Called the Schaulager, this is a special structure constructed to provide optimal conditions for the conservation of the contained artworks; at the same time, it is open to the public.

Guillaume Daeppen

In a city that is one of the international shrines of ‘white cube art’, as avant-garde as it might be, a visit to Guillaume Daeppen’s gallery is nothing short of refreshing. Daeppen opened in 2006, and focused on young artists working with new media since inception. With a groundbreaking show in 2009 named Born to Be Punk, the gallery’s direction definitively shifted towards urban art, encompassing all those works of street art inspired by urban culture, and utilizing outsider techniques while still housing them in a traditional gallery space.

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Von Bartha

Von Bartha, one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Basel, has come a long way since it first opened in 1970. Today, the gallery has two large showrooms in the city, in addition to a third one in S-chanf. Of the venues in Basel, the so-called Von Bartha Collection is housed in a beautiful two-story urban villa, where two exhibitions are held every year.

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Nicolas Krupp

From painting and sculpture to photography and video, from installations to new media, there is no limit to the range of artistic disciplines that gallery Nicolas Krupp is fascinated by. Located in large premises – once an industrial establishment – on Messeplatz, within walking distance from Art Basel’s venues, the gallery focuses on the work of international young artists.

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Museums

Basel has some incredible museums that are a delight for any traveller. Discover the ones you would love to visit:

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Fondation Beyeler Museum
This astounding private-turned-public collection, assembled by former art dealers Hildy and Ernst Beyeler, is housed in a long, low, light-filled, open-plan building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

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Vitra Campus Museum
Showcasing the works of the adjoining, eponymous high-end furniture manufacturer, Vitra Campus comprises the dazzling Vitra Design Museum (of Guggenheim Bilbao architect Frank Gehry fame).

Kunstmuseum Basel Museum
Housing the most comprehensive collection of public art in Switzerland, the superb fine arts museum reopened in mid-2016 after updates to the existing galleries (Hauptbau) and construction of a new modernist wing.

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Museum Jean Tinguely
Built by leading Ticino architect Mario Botta, this museum showcases the playful, mischievous and downright wacky artistic concoctions of sculptor-turned-mad-scientist Jean Tinguely.

Spielzeug Welten Museum
Adults and kids alike love this fascinating and lovingly curated fantasy land claiming the world’s biggest collection of teddy bears and a slew of extraordinarily detailed doll houses.

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Museum für Geschichte
This flagship of three museums operating under the banner of ‘Historisches Museum Basel’ (Basel Historical Museum), which opened in 1894, is well worth a look.

Naturhistorisches Museum
With almost eight million objects and artefacts relating to zoology, anthropology and archaeology in its holdings, the mission of the Natural History Museum is to maintain an archive of human and animal life.

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Schweizerisches Museum für Papier, Schrift und Druck
Set in an old paper mill astride a medieval canal and complete with a functioning waterwheel, the Paper Museum evokes centuries past, when a dozen mills operated nearby.

Museum für Wohnkultur
Housed in the beautiful Haus zum Kirschgarten building (1780), this lovely museum features two floors of the house with rooms laid out immaculately in the style of 18th- and 19th-century.

Other Places

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Augusta Raurica Ruins
About 17km east of Basel, on the Rhine’s south bank, Switzerland’s largest Roman ruins are the last remnants of a colony founded in 43 BC, the population of which grew to 20,000 by the 2nd century AD.

Marktplatz Square
Begin exploring Basel’s delightful medieval Old Town in the Marktplatz, dominated by the astonishingly vivid red facade of the 16th-century Rathaus.

Feldschlösschen Brewery
In Rheinfelden, 17km east of Basel, you’ll find the Feldschlösschen brewery, housed in a 19th-century building with a name that means ‘little castle in the field’ – an accurate tag.

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Münster Cathedral
Blending Gothic exteriors with Romanesque interiors, this 13th-century cathedral was largely rebuilt after an earthquake in 1356.

Schweizerisches Museum für Papier, Schrift und Druck
Set in an old paper mill astride a medieval canal and complete with a functioning waterwheel, the Paper Museum evokes centuries past, when a dozen mills operated nearby.

Museum für Wohnkultur
Housed in the beautiful Haus zum Kirschgarten building (1780), this lovely museum features two floors of the house with rooms laid out immaculately in the style of 18th- and 19th-century.

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Rathaus Building
The centre of business-minded Basel’s delightful medieval Old Town is Marktplatz, which is dominated by the astonishingly vivid red facade of the 16th-century town hall.

Lällekönig Statue
You’ll find this replica of the 15th-century animated bust of the Lällekönig (Tongue King) on the Grossbasel side of the Mittlere Brücke, sticking his tongue out and rolling his eyes at the ‘lowly’ residents.

Barfüsserplatz Square
This bustling square is named after the barefoot Franciscan friars who founded the eponymous Barfüsserkirche (Barefooted Ones Church) here in the 14th century. Shops and eateries abound in the surrounding lanes.

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Tinguely Brunnen Fountain
With its riot of wacky machines spewing and shooting forth water, this zany fountain offers a taste of the madcap moving sculptures to be found in the Museum Jean Tinguely.

 

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