"Casting deadly seriousness out of day to day life" – the Basel Cartoon Museum manages this with ease. Caricatures, humorous drawings and comics from around 700 cartoonists from around the world are on display across three floors. Curated exhibitions and varied events complement the permanent collection.
It is hard to believe that an entire museum world sprawls behind the narrow facade of the house at St. Alban Vorstadt 28. In order to find space for the more than 4000 original works by around 700 artists from 40 countries, the architects Herzog & de Meuron created an extension 20 years ago which is concealed behind the main building. Since then, 300 square metres of exhibition space has been available to the only cartoon museum in Switzerland.
In the angular rooms, everything revolves around satire, caricatures, humorous drawings and comics: in changing exhibitions, individual exhibitions, readings or workshops. The visitors encounter "old friends" such as Claire Bretécher, Joost Swarte, Toni Ungerer and Peter Gut. But there are plenty of unknown cartoonists – like Berlin's ATAK – to discover as well.