Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
16 October 2019 – 23 February 2020

Übermensch – Friedrich Nietzsche and his Afterlife

This exhibition in honour of the 175th anniversary of Friedrich Nietzsche's birth and the 150th anniversary of his appointment to Basel University's Chair of Classical Philology offers visitors an insight into the turbulent life and ground-breaking ideas of Modernism's most influential and most radical philosopher.

Who was Friedrich Nietzsche? A precursor of the Nazis who glorified war, a misogynist, a madman? Or was he not rather an anti-anti-Semite, a committed European and a champion of individualism and self-fulfillment, from whom we have a lot to learn about the challenges of the present?

Basel Historical Museum is celebrating Nietzsche's 175th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his appointment to the Chair of Classical Philology at Basel University with an exhibition that sets out to answer just such questions. Nietzsche's influence on subsequent generations cannot be overestimated and remains unbroken to this day. As a freethinker, he had a formative impact on the humanities and social sciences and on the development of Western society more generally throughout the 20th century and beyond. Some of his ideas have even trickled down into everyday life.

Basel Historical Museum's special exhibition in the Barfüsserkirche falls into three sections, the first of which approaches the Nietzsche phenomenon through his biography, including his seminal years in Basel. The second section provides an introduction to some of his most influential works and ideas, and explains key concepts such as will to power, eternal return, and the Übermensch, after which the exhibition is named. Finally, part three unfurls a vast panorama of the wide-ranging influence of Nietzsche's writings from scholarly critiques and reception by artists to the role they have played in popular and everyday culture.

The exhibition offers visitors a compact and informative overview of the life, work and impact of Friedrich Nietzsche and supplies the tools needed by those interested in devoting part of this anniversary year to reading his works for themselves.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated catalogue published by the Christoph Merian Verlag. This will contain essays on the most diverse aspects of Friedrich Nietzsche and his work by historians and renowned Nietzsche scholars from all over the world.

Basel Historical Museum

Exhibition catalogue


Friedrich Nietzsche und die Folgen

His moustache is his trademark, his works offer witty quotations for every occasion, his word creations have become part of everyday language. But who was Friedrich Nietzsche? What can his writings and ideas still tell us today?

The richly illustrated book provides answers to these and other questions. Nietzsche's world of ideas comes alive in compact essays, while the exhibition section immerses you in the eventful life and unprecedented fame of the famous philosopher. High-quality illustrations of private letters, precious rarities and surprising individual pieces invite you on an entertaining journey of discovery.

Buy book in our online shop


Kindly supported by Dr. Peter Buser, Asunción.


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

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM