The Kunstmuseum Basel was recently enhanced by a new building, bringing the total to three. Contemporary art is shown in the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart, about five minutes’ walk from the main building.
In 2013, the London Times named the Kunstmuseum Basel the world’s fifth best museum. The extension building, designed by architects Christ & Gantenbein of Basel, is linked with the main building by underground connection and is now open. It increases the exhibition space for first-class art by about one third in a fascinating architectural framework.
The main building at St. Alban-Graben features art from the period between the 15th century and 1960. In the future, special exhibits will be shown in the generous rooms of the new building. It also houses works created between 1960 and 1990. The three buildings of the Kunstmuseum Basel have a combined exhibition space of approximately 10,000 square meters.
Kunstmuseum Basel | new building Curator: Bodo Brinkmann
In the summer of 2015, the Kunstmuseum Basel lent ten paintings by Pablo Picasso to the Museo Nacional del Prado. Around 1.4 million visitors saw these treasures in Madrid while the Kunstmuseum Basel was closed for renovations. Although Picasso was once its director, the Prado has no work by the Spanish master, and so the presentation of the loans from Basel fulfilled a long-held desire.
The Prado generously offered to reciprocate by sending a selection from its outstanding Old Masters collection to Basel. It was started to make plans right away, and now, two years later, twenty-six masterworks from Madrid are coming to Basel: ¡Hola Prado! presents eminent works from the Kunstmuseum’s own collection in dialogue with the Prado’s world-famous paintings. This summit meeting between two centuries-old collections is an extraordinary stroke of good fortune for the Kunstmuseum Basel—and offers visitors a unique opportunity to see a large set of works from the Prado here in Basel.
Selected by the Kunstmuseum together with the Prado, the selection does not attempt to represent a cross-section of the Spanish museum’s holdings. Rather, the hand-picked guests from the Prado are shown side by side with paintings from the Kunstmuseum in twenty-four focused encounters: Titian, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo, and Goya enter into a dialogue with Memling, Baldung, Holbein the Younger, Goltzius, and Rembrandt. Cycles of prints by Goya and Holbein the Younger from the Kupferstichkabinett round out the meeting between the two collections.