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Painting and Graphic Art

Poster for the Historisches Museum Basel

Key data


Design by Emil Beurmann

printed by Wassermann and Schaublin, Basle

Colour lithograph

height 101 cm, width 72cm

Inv. 1990.588.


On 21 April 1894 the Barfüsserkirche was officially opened as the main building of the Historisches Museum Basel. In the first year 13,000 tickets were sold, and on average 2000 visitors were counted on Sundays, when admission was free. The Museum's first poster does not focus on any particular object in the collection, but shows the public it aimed to attract, making a visit to the Museum into a social event. The eye is caught by a young lady accompanied by an older gentleman against a shadowy background of the nave of the Barfüsserkirche hung with flags. The contents of the museum are suggested symbolically by the heraldic colours, black and red, of the divided cantons of Basle-Stadt and Basel Landschaft. More distinctly the 'Martinsreiter' (St Martin on horseback) from the facade of the Basle Münster (transferred to the Stadt- and Münstermuseum in 1939) can be made out. The poster indicates that the opening hours were from 8 am to 6 pm and that the cost of admission was 50 'Rappen'. The design, by the Basle artist Emil Beurmann (1862-1951), trained in Karlsruhe, Munich and at the Academie Julian in Paris, and strongly influenced by cosmopolitan Parisian taste, is in an avantgarde style and aimed at an international public.

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Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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