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Basel Historical Museum

News

4 June 2024

In 2023, the Basel Historical Museum welcomed over 83,000 visitors. This is above the pre-pandemic level. Interested people can now find the annual report for 2023 on our website. Read more

2 May 2024

The mobile forest is back on the theatre square. At the forest celebration on 24 May 2024, the meeting place will be inaugurated with a cultural and nature programme. We will, of course, be there to show interested visitors the role of wood in historic Basel in a variety of ways. If you want, you can even chop wood yourself. Read more. Read more

2 May 2024

In psychiatry in the 1950s and 1960s, the hallucinogens LSD and psilocybin were investigated for their suitability to treat mental illnesses. Research is still being carried out in this field today. One person who knows all about it is Felix Müller. He heads the Clinical Research Centre for Substance-Assisted Therapy in Basel and is the principal investigator of an innovative study on the therapeutic effect of LSD in depressive disorders. For the "Rausch am Abend" series, Müller will be coming to the Basel Historical Museum to report on the current state of clinical research and the opportunities and risks of this approach. Come along and join us! Read more

2 April 2024

The "Ligeti Labyrinth" is entering its final days: The exhibition can be seen at the Music Museum until 7 April. In addition to the normal opening hours, special events such as a last guided tour by the curators, a lecture by Lukas Ligeti, son of György, and extended opening hours on Sunday, 7 April, invite you to visit. The Basel Sinfonietta and the Basel Symphony Orchestra will also be performing works by Ligeti over the coming days. All information can be found on the exhibition website. Read more

2 April 2024

Until now, provenance research has mainly been focussed on valuable paintings or looted cultural assets. In a pioneering project, we are devoting ourselves to the hitherto little-noticed Nazi-related confiscation of musical instruments. On a guided tour on 10 April, we will present this project to interested parties and show why provenance research is important in this field, where the challenges lie and which objects require special attention. Read more

2 April 2024

The saying "No risk, no fun" is well known. But when does too much risk suddenly stop being fun? Youth group leaders need to be able to assess this in their work. We will be addressing this topic on 13 April as part of the "Rausch - Extase - Rush" exhibition in a workshop for youth group leaders aged 13 and over. We will discuss and try out how risk competence develops and how a positive environment for dealing with risks can be created. Read more

1 March 2024

Although alcohol and tobacco have been proven to be harmful to health, they are widely accepted by society. Other substances, on the other hand, whose active ingredients have been known for a long time and are sometimes used medicinally, are illegal as drugs. Why is this the case? We will be exploring this question on 7 March together with Marc Vogel, Head Doctor at the Centre for Addiction Diseases at UPK. In his presentation, he will look at the history of substances and the social acceptance of alcohol and drugs. Read more

1 March 2024

From 50,000 BC to the 21st century, the Stadt.Geschichte.Basel series tells the long and eventful history of Basel and its inhabitants in nine volumes and an overview volume. The first four volumes will be officially presented in the Barfüsserkirche on 11 March. Read more

1 March 2024

The Basel History Days will take place for the first time from 11 to 16 March 2024 under the motto Fire and Flame. Over 40 institutions and associations from across the region will be offering a firework display of history with more than 70 events. We have also put together an exciting programme, from book launches and live podcasts to water and fire in historic Basel. Read more

Carnival badges wanted

1 March 2024

The "drei schneenschte Dääg" are over, but the memories remain. The Basel Historical Museum collects memories in the form of carnival plaques. Numerous volumes are available in our collection. But there are also some gaps that we would like to fill with your help. Read more

1 March 2024

Once again this year, the magnificent Easter bouquet adorns the garden pavilion in the Haus zum Kirschgarten. Over 160 hand-painted unique pieces are on display, each egg a miniature work of art. From Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, our three houses are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Barfüsserkirche) or 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Haus zum Kirschgarten and Music Museum). Read more

26 January 2024

At this fringe event of the Rausch exhibition, parents and interested adults can ask any burning questions about psychoactive substances that their children would not answer. On 1 February, Jill Zeugin will be coming to the Barfüsserkirche and inviting you to an open discussion about psychoactive substances. Jill Zeugin is a social worker and head of DIBS (Drogeninfo Basel-Stadt). She is committed to educating and raising awareness about the use of psychoactive substances. Programme

26 January 2024

The history of bourgeois Basel comes to life in the Haus zum Kirschgarten. How did the "young and old" live, play and work over 200 years ago? This is exactly what the family tour in the Haus zum Kirschgarten is all about. Admission to our three houses is free on the first Sunday of every month. There is a surcharge of CHF 5 for participation in the guided tour. Programme

26 January 2024

On the concert evening "Gegen das Establishment", the Basel Kammerorchester presents works by Gustav Mahler and György Ligeti. Both composers are known for their unconventional works. The Hungarian composer György Ligeti would have been 100 years old in 2023. To enable concertgoers to visit our special exhibition "Ligeti Labyrinth – An Exhibition Celebrating the Centenary of the Composer György Ligeti’s Birth" before the concert, the music museum will be open until 6 pm on this day, with free admission from 4 pm to 6 pm. Programme

26 January 2024

In 2022, a valuable violin was offered to the Basel Historical Museum. The problem: the provenance is not clear. It is known that the previous owner, Anne-Marie von Stürler, bought the violin from Henry Werro in Bern in 1962. But who did it belong to before that? Is the violin genuine in all its parts? While these clarifications are underway, we will show you the violin in the "Inventarium" in the Barfüsserkirche and describe how we are proceeding. Read more

Call for Papers

26 January 2024

Call for Papers for the conference "Provenance Research on Musical Instruments", 17 and 18 October 2024, Basel Historical Museum.

Provenance research on musical instruments has become increasingly important in recent years. This poses new challenges for provenance research. In order to highlight, share and discuss knowledge, experiences and challenges on this group of objects, we would like to encourage you to submit an abstract in which you present your experiences and results to your colleagues and stimulate an exchange. Read more

 

4 January 2024

The composer György Ligeti has provided the soundtrack to numerous films by Stanley Kubrick. On 15 January, Stadtkino Basel invites you on a poetic journey through Ligeti's musical and biographical landscapes. A discussion with musicologist Julia Heimerdinger will explore the congenial connection between the two artists' visuals and music. Read more

4 January 2024

This year’s Museums Night takes place on 19 January and we're going all out! In the Barfüsserkirche, everything revolves around intoxication, while in the Musikmuseum visitors can enter the Ligeti labyrinth. From 18:00 to 02:00 we offer you a rich programme in our two houses. You will also get your money's worth with our culinary delights. All information at www.museumsnacht.ch.

4 January 2024

Museum collections are full of objects that appear to be surplus to requirements, are in very poor condition or, from today's perspective, are not worth collecting. Museums are therefore increasingly asking themselves the question: Is a museum allowed to discard objects? Heidi Amrein (Swiss National Museum), Carmen Simon (Regionalmuseum Chüechlihus, Langnau i. E.) and Markus Stegmann (Museum Langmatt, Baden) will discuss this topic. Anne Hasselmann will be the moderator. The panel discussion will take place on 25 January. The event will be broadcast live on Facebook and then published on our YouTube channel.

1 December 2023

The Ligeti Labyrinth is open! On the evening of 29 November, numerous guests came first to the Music Museum to view the exhibition and then to the Music Academy for speeches, a concert and an aperitif. On the way from the museum to the Music Academy, the guests were accompanied by the sound of fanfares.

1 December 2023

On the exhibition website www.hmb.ch/ligeti, we present concerts that explore Ligeti's work. These include the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra and the Basel Sinfonietta. So if you want to see and hear Ligeti, come to the exhibition and then go to the concert.

1 December 2023

At the beginning of December, the Haus zum Kirschgarten becomes traditionally Christmassy: 15 Christmas trees, decorated with historical and modern Christmas tree decorations, give the so called Stadtpalais a special glamour. The inner courtyard of the Haus zum Kirschgarten is transformed into a magical Christmas courtyard. Concerts and special events in the Music Museum and the Barfüsser Church set the mood for the festive season.

1 December 2023

The last big sledging fun in Basel was a few years ago. The last time large quantities of snow fell was in 2006. Nevertheless, sledging is a tradition in Basel. In the entrance area of the Haus zum Kirschgarten, we are now displaying four sledges from our collection, from the Böckli sledge to the Davos sledge and the modern aluminium sledge.

2 November 2023

At present, the rush greets you even before you enter the museum: the autumn fair on Barfüsserplatz puts visitors in the right mood for the new special exhibition in the Barfüsserkirche with fast-paced rides, sweet treats and sticky-hot mulled wine. On 25 October, "Rausch - Extase - Rush" was ceremoniously opened.

Museum director Marc Zehntner welcomed the guests, Lukas Engelberger delivered a greeting from the cantonal government and content creator Aditotoro talked about his personal experiences with intoxication. The exhibition is open until 30.06.2024.

2 November 2023

Games can be addictive. In the first edition of Museumsrausch am Abend on 17 November, we welcome Renanto Poespodiharjo, Head of the Behavioural Addictions Unit at UPK. We discuss gaming and work in the field of behavioural addictions and ask the question: when does a leisure activity become an addiction? The event is designed for an open exchange and offers the opportunity to ask questions without obligation.

2 November 2023

György Ligeti (1923-2006) is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the Musikmuseum is dedicating an exhibition to Ligeti and his work. The exhibition shows mainly original objects from the estate of the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel, and brings Ligeti's music to life in sound and vision. We cordially invite you to the vernissage on 29 November at the Musikmuseum and in the Great Hall of the Musik-Akademie Basel. Read more

2 October 2023

The exhibition Rausch - Extase - Rush opens on 26 October. It explores the question of why we strive for ecstatic feelings and what it is that fascinates us so much. The exhibition explores the phenomenon of "rush" in all its facets and takes us on a multimedia journey through the historical background as well as the possibilities and risks of rush. The vernissage will take place on 25 October.

2 October 2023

Barbara zum Luft and Niklaus Meyer zum Pfeil were wealthy Basel citizens in the late Middle Ages. They belonged to a new readership and read popular romance and matrimonial novels, which were among the first literary bestsellers. The new small exhibition in the Barfüsserkirche features some works from their extensive library.

2 October 2023

In 1536, just in time for the autumn fair, Felix Platter, who later made a name for himself as the city's doctor, was born in Basel. He researched anatomy, psychiatry and the plague. In addition, he was musically active. His transcriptions of French chansons and Italian madrigals from this very period represent a special musical-philological treasure that ReRenaissance will bring to life on 27 October in the Barfüsserkirche.

31 August 2023

The duration of the exhibition «Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition» in the Barfüsserkirche is drawing to a close. There are two and a half weeks left to see the exhibition before it closes its doors. Visit the exhibition or one of the last events such as the storytelling café, the determination day or the last public guided tour with Margret Ribbert.

Photo: Samuel Bramley

31 August 2023

The Flâneur Festival presents Basel's diversity during three days from 7 to 9 September at Elisabethenstrasse - it is a place of encounter, exchange and creativity. We are happy to be part of this urban space festival with the Haus zum Kirschgarten. The beautiful garden invites you to linger, the Noohn will take care of the catering and a DJ will provide melodious beats. Read more

31 August 2023

The European Heritage Day on 9 September in Basel will focus on the Steinenberg and the Aeschenplatz. Two architectural icons are located in the immediate vicinity: the Barfüsserkirche and the Haus zum Kirschgarten. Learn exciting facts about the eventful history of the Barfüsserkirche or the early classicist architecture of the magnificent city palace in entertaining guided tours. Read more

31 August 2023

The official Democracy Day will take place on 15 September. The Historical Museum has come up with a special guided tour for this occasion: a democratic tour in which the participation of the audience is desired. The visitors influence the course of the tour through the exhibition «Leaps in Time» with their choice. Read more

Provenance research at the Basel Historical Museum

18 July 2023

Thanks to the generous support of the Bundesamt für Kultur (BAK), we are able to research the provenance of objects in Switzerland's largest collection on European music history and to check for suspected cases of unlawful seizure. For this reason, we welcome Renato Moser to our team.

The focus of this project is on the Nazi period. In a first sub-project we will select a group of instruments that require in-depth research in terms of ownership and change of hands. Over the next 14 months we will share the progress and stories around this project with interested museum visitors.

Renato Moser brings a wide range of experience in the field of provenance research. Moser has already worked at the Kunstmuseum Bern and on several provenance research projects. He has a Master's degree in art history and holds the Certificate of Advanced Studies BFH in attribution and interdisciplinary provenance research from the Bern University of the Arts.

We will make the final report and the provenance reports on the investigated objects available at the end of September 2024. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the BAK for its generous support and the trust it has placed in us. We are pleased to be able to take this important step.

3rd July 2023

The secluded garden of the Haus zum Kirschgarten in the middle of Basel is now open to everyone free of charge during our opening hours. Treat yourself to a break at lunchtime with a picnic you have brought with you in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Access to the garden is via the main entrance.

3rd July 2023

Take advantage of the summer holidays to (re)discover the exhibition «animalistic!». It can only be experienced at the Musikmuseum until 27 August. You will be whisked away into the diverse and exciting relationship between animals and music. The last three public tours of the exhibition can be found here. The catalogue for the exhibition series in four Basel museums is available at the unbeatable price of CHF 19.90.

Aufruf

Wie bunt ticken Sie?

20. Juni 2023

Am 1. Juli 2023 findet in Basel zum ersten Mal ein eigener Pride-Festival-Tag statt. An diversen Veranstaltungen feiern Menschen dann die LGBTQIA*-Community unter dem Motto «Basel tickt bunt». Für die Ausstellung «Zeitsprünge» sind wir auf der Suche nach Fotos vom Anlass. Zum Formular

 

13 June 2023

As part of the special exhibition "Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition", we organised a photo contest to find the most beautiful photos of telephone booths. From around 80 entries of telephone booths from all over the world, we have now awarded prizes to the most beautiful ten. To the results

9 June 2023

Marc Zehntner will definitely become director of the Basel Historical Museum. The President of the Basel Cantonal Government, Beat Jans, has approved the unanimous proposal of the Museum Commission. With the 51-year-old Basel resident, a proven museum expert is taking over the management of the museum.

2 June 2023

On 5 June, the general inventory in the exhibition buildings of the Historical Museum will begin. First up are the objects in the Haus zum Kirschgarten. So don't be surprised if you come across our Inventis who are in the process of measuring, photographing, appraising and inventorying objects. Take the opportunity to observe the team in this process. By 2025, approximately 350,000 objects will undergo a major inventory at the Historical Museum. Blog General Inventory

2 June 2023

An exhibition of sculptures by Sonja Knapp will be on show in the garden of the Haus zum Kirschgarten from 14 to 18 June, with free admission.

Sonja Knapp graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Zurich. She started her career as an illustrator and graphic designer in Paris. In the 1960s she was a co-founder of the Haute Couture Maison Emanuel Ungaro Paris. With her imprimé fabrics and futuristic «Body Sculptures», she left her mark on the world-famous fashion brand. Today, the internationally active artist devotes herself solely to her passion for art. Her impressive sculptures in highly polished stainless steel form a fascinating dialogue between art and nature.

You can find out more about Sonja Knapp and her works here.

2 June 2023

During the Hammond Week from 5 - 11 June there will be two performative guided tours in the Musikmuseum and four concerts in the bird's eye jazz club. The idea is to explore the historic organ in the Musikmuseum with its manuals, bass pedals, drawbars, scanner vibrato and electromechanical tone generator and to play it with new musical ideas. Read more, bird's eye jazz club

2 May 2023

The 7th theatre square day will take place on 4 May. The Basel Historical Museum is participating with a colourful programme: Take part in an entertaining guided tour through the exhibition « Out of Use – Everyday Life in Transition » or visit the panel discussion on the topic of « Provenance Research in the Museum ». Take part in the quiz and win an exclusive tour of the attic of the Barfüsserkirche. Detailed programme

2 May 2023

Whatever puzzling and strange objects are slumbering in your cupboards, cellar or attic: bring your curiosities to the Barfüsserkirche for viewing on 7 May from 2 to 4 pm. Together with our curators, you can get to the bottom of the objects' function. Among others, our numismatist, Andrea Casoli, is looking forward to seeing your coins and medals. Read more

2 May 2023

As part of the exhibition «Animalistic! – The Sound of Animals» at the Musikmuseum, the Historical Museum entered into a cooperation with the Gymnasium Leonhard. The pupils used the special exhibition as a springboard into songwriting and an impulse to reflect on the works sung in the choir. On 12 May, a concert evening with two bands will take place in the courtyard of the Musikmuseum, where the animal compositions can be experienced. Read more

5 April 2023

At the end of March, the carriage platform in the Haus zum Kirschgarten was newly equipped. On display is a sweepers' handcart that was used to clean the city about a hundred years ago. This carriage fits in well with the season: during the summer months, social life largely takes place in public spaces. As a result, litter is left lying around in busy places - a major problem of the consumer and throwaway society.

The hand sweeper on display was made around 1910. It comes from the property of the Allmendverwaltung. The wide dustpan picks up the rubbish and transports it into the large iron container between the wheels. We will be displaying the hand sweeper in the carriage passage in the Haus zum Kirschgarten until 14 November 2023.

5 April 2023

The exhibition "Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition" has been open since 23 March 2023. Numerous visitors have visited it since then and in many cases also typed feedback into the typewriter provided. "Great exhibition," writes Jonas (10), for example, and another feedback asks: "What else is going to disappear?

The special exhibition uses a wide range of everyday objects to illustrate past ways of life. It will remain open until 17.09.2023. Read more

5 April 2023

Once again this year, the magnificent Easter bouquet adorns the garden pavilion in the Haus zum Kirschgarten. Over 200 hand-painted unique pieces are on display, each egg a miniature work of art.

From Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, our three houses are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Barfüsserkirche) or 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Haus zum Kirschgarten and Music Museum). Read more

The telephone booths are back

9 March 2023

As part of the special exhibition "Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition", the Barfi telephone booths that fell out of use in 2019 will be placed in front of the Barfüsserkirche. Have you taken photos of telephone booths? Or do you have a special telephone booth close to you? We are looking for pictures of telephone booths in a photo competition. The best entries will be rewarded with attractive prizes. To the competition (in German)

9 March 2023

On Sunday, 5 March, the first identification afternoon took place in the Barfüsserkirche as part of the new special exhibition "Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition". Curators helped visitors to determine the functions of curious everyday objects and household appliances.

From now on, curious objects can also be viewed in a digital gallery or recorded by the visitors themselves: www.aussergebrauch.ch. The next identification afternoons will take place on Sunday, 7 May and Sunday, 10 September 2023 from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. Programme

9 March 2023

We are looking forward to the new special exhibition "Out of Use - Everyday Life in Transition". It shows technical and social changes during the last three centuries. The construction is currently in full swing. The vernissage will take place on Wednesday, 22 March 2023 at 6.30 pm in the Barfüsserkirche. You are cordially invited! Read more

9 March 2023

In this year's cooperation between the Leonhard Gymnasium and the Musikmuseum, an evening visit to the museum with a guided tour and musical treats will be offered on 17 March and 18 March respectively. These are the preliminary events for the classical spring concert under the title " Tierisch" in the Leonhardskirche. The animal world has always inspired the creation of the most diverse musical pieces. Advance tickets have been on sale since 06.03.2023 at the secretary's office of the Leonhard Grammar School. To the programme

9 March 2023

Where did public discussions take place in the late Middle Ages, where today? In the library showcase in the Barfüsserkirche, we are now showing the beginnings of philosophy in Basel and recognising the image of a Middle Ages eager for discussion and searching for the truth. The small presentation was created in close cooperation with the University Library of Basel. Read more

7 February 2023

To get in the mood for carnival, two guided tours are on the programme at the Musikmuseum: on 15 and 26 February you will have the opportunity to discover typical carnival instruments such as piccolos, drums, timpani and large brass instruments. The unmistakable Basel carnival sound not only makes the Basel heart beat faster!

This year, too, we will be displaying the Fasnacht lantern from the 1975 collection in the porch of the Barfüsserkirche for Fasnacht. The lantern «S Salzmuseum oder S Barfiesser-Solbad» by the clique «Alti Schnooggekerzli 1929» takes as its theme the use of the Barfüsserkirche as a swimming pool.

During the three days of Carnival, our exhibition buildings will remain closed. The Barfüsserkirche, the Haus zum Kirschgarten and the Musikmuseum will be open again from Thursday, 2 March. We wish you a beautiful carnival or as the Basler would say: Mir winsche allne e scheeni Fasnacht! To the guided tours

3 January 2023

Until 29 January you will have the opportunity to see the approx. 150 artistically designed drinking vessels from the Baroque period. The silver objects, which come from a private collection in Basel, are on display exclusively in the Barfüsserkirche. Among them are also curious and rare pieces that tell us a lot about the drinking customs of that time. Read more

3 January 2023

The annual Museum Night takes place on 20 January. The Basel Historical Museum is traditionally involved with the Barfüsserkirche and the Musikmuseum: in the Barfüsserkirche, the night is dedicated to the cup in reference to the exhibition «Elegant Imbibing». In the Musikmuseum, animals in the circus and at the fair play the main role. Our partner, the Museum of Music Automatons Seewen, lets amazing barrel organs play. Detailed program

3 January 2023

In the second talk in the series «Inventarium – Museums in Conversation», representatives of various museums will discuss the potential and challenges of these collection general inventories on 26 January in the Barfüsserkirche. The admission is free of charge. Read more

 
Contact

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CH-4001 Basel

Office opening hours
8:30 – 12 AM | 13:30 – 17 PM
Reception: +41 61 205 86 00
historisches.museum(at)bs.ch

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