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Curator Historical Department

Dr. Gudrun Piller

Curator Historical Department: Dr. Gudrun Piller


Gudrun Piller studied General History of the Middle Ages and Modern Times and German Studies in Basel. She then worked as an assistant and project collaborator at the Universities of Zurich and Basel and completed her doctorate in 2003 on the history of the body and medicine in the 18th century. From 2001 to 2017, she was head of the Education & Outreach department at the Historisches Museum Basel and was also vice-director from 2004. Since 2017, she has been curator of the "Historical Department".

As part of her museum activities, Gudrun Piller was significantly involved in various exhibitions and publications and organised several exhibition takeovers. She curated the presentation on Basel's history "Zeitsprünge - Basler Geschichte in Kürze" in the nave of the Barfüsserkirche. She is currently responsible for and in charge of the special exhibition " insanely normal - the history of psychiatry in Basel".

Gudrun Piller has taken on several museological teaching assignments at the University of Basel and at the Zurich University of the Arts. She regularly teaches in the "History Course" at the Volkshochschule beider Basel. She has been a member of the expert committee of the Museums-Pass-Musées (MPM) since 2014 and of the board of the Historical and Antiquarian Society of Basel (HAG) since 2018.

Publications (selected)

Verrückt normal. Geschichte der Psychiatrie in Basel, hg. von Gudrun Piller und Daniel Suter für das Historische Museum Basel, Basel 2024.

Leaps In Time – A Brief History of Basel. Publication to accompany the related exhibition in the Barfüsserkirche (in collaboration with Jonathan Büttner and Daniel Suter), Basel 2020.

Five texts in Kinderleben in Basel. Eine Kulturgeschichte der frühen Jahre, catalogue of the exhibition of that name in the Barfüsserkirche, Basel 2005 (Die Familie / Geburt und Taufe / Die ersten Jahre / Mütter und Kinder in Not / Krankheit und Tod, as well as 19 catalogue texts).

Two articles in In der Fremde. Mobilität und Migration seit der Frühen Neuzeit, catalogue of the exhibition of that name in the Barfüsserkirche, Basel 2010 (Unterwegs und auf der Flucht, Fremde Bettler und Vaganten / Wege der Frauen).

“‘viel tausendt Kunststücke und Wunderwerck der Natur’: Die Sammlung des Stadtarztes Felix Platter (1536–1614),” in Die grosse Kunstkammer. Bürgerliche Sammler und Sammlungen in Basel, Basel 2011, pp. 69–80.

“Zwischen Bedrohung und Normalität – Einleitung,” in Basel zur Zeit des Ersten Weltkriegs, Basel 2014, pp. 4/5.


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PO box | Steinenberg 4
CH-4001 Basel

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