The story of the Basler Kunstverein is both a living history of the city and an important narrative of its citizens’ extraordinary cultural commitment. Since its founding on November 25, 1839, 180 years have passed and 2,222 new moons have risen above Basel, a city persistently committed to the visual arts and unafraid of the experimental. Many exciting stories of art and cultural history—local and international—have been written in Basel by the Kunstverein and its Kunsthalle, and this continues every day, with every new moon that rises.
To mark its 180th anniversary, the Basler Kunstverein presents a several-week-long project on the back wall of Kunsthalle Basel. In addition to the large-scale painting, a different new poster series will go on display with each of the six new moons (2.7. / 1.8. / 30.8. / 28.9. / 28.10. / 26.11.) until November 26, 2019. The posters will reveal exciting, entertaining, and astonishing facts and stories about the Kunstverein and its members. With every new moon, the number of new moons painted on the wall will also increase, to demonstrate the survival of the Kunstverein and emphasize its orientation toward the future.
Is this you? (from 2.7.2019)
The images culled from our photo archive for the first poster series, Is this you? (Download PDF), feature some of the more than 1,400 members of the Basler Kunstverein, from roughly the last half-century. Look carefully to see if you might find yourself, a family member, or a friend, perhaps attending an opening or taking part in a members’ trip, and let us know the names—this will enrich the information we are constantly collecting in our living archive of the history of Kunsthalle Basel. You can contact us via email, phone or on social media.
Basler Kunstverein from A to Z (from 1.8.2019)
Did you know that the library of the Basler Kunstverein was founded with only 45 books? And do you know Marguerite Ammann, who was the first female artist in 1946 to have a comprehensive solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel? You can find more of these exciting facts in an A to Z (Download PDF), which is the second poster series.
Revenge Is Sweet (from 30.8.2019)
The six grotesque sandstone faces overlooking the foyer of Kunsthalle Basel—have given rise to so many rumors and speculations over the years. The works were originally designed in 1871 for the building’s garden facade by famed Basel artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). The Fratzen (grimaces) are immensely popular, but readers may not realize that in the past they sparked considerable outrage among Basel’s citizens, to the point that some even demanded they be knocked off the walls. The poster series Revenge Is Sweet (Download PDF) on the back wall, therefore, ask the viewers: Who were these grumblers? Did they disapprove because they recognized themselves in the distorted faces? What we know, and what we don’t know, you can find here.
2 x In the Course of Time (from 28.9.2019 & from 28.102019)
The twelve (2 x 6) double-images selected for the poster series In the course of time illustrate in a playful way how technology, fashion, exhibitions, and art have changed over the decades (Download PDF).
The Future (from 28.9.2019)
The Basler Kunstverein and Kunsthalle Basel are marked by the traces of countless artists, visitors, and members, over many generations. Today, art mediation inspires visitors more than ever to actively participate in exhibitions and art projects. We asked children and adults to imagine the future of Kunsthalle Basel, leaving behind their visions in an expansive drawing (Download PDF).