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The Fondation Beyeler was officially inaugurated in Riehen on the outskirts of Basel on 18 October 1997, providing Hildy and Ernst Beyelerâ€™s remarkable art collection with a publicly accessible home. The new museum was built by the Genovese architect Renzo Piano, whose work includes the Centre Pompidou in Paris, over a period of around three years. An extension to the museum was officially inaugurated in September 2000. The building of the museum was financed by a non-profit-making foundation set up by Hildy and Ernst Beyeler in 1982, which also supports the Fondation Beyeler financially. The Riehen authorities provided the site free of charge and the Canton of the City of Basel makes an annual contribution that covers around one-third of the museumâ€™s running costs.
With his tranquil, restrained building, Renzo Piano has created a museum intended â€śto serve art, and not the other way round.â€ť Clad with red porphyry, it consists of four monumental parallel walls, a glass faĂ§ade at either end or a winter garden on the west side that looks out over the surrounding countryside. The glass roof suspended over the structure illuminates the whole building with the natural light so desirable for exhibiting works of art. All technical or design details that might distract visitors have been deliberately eliminated from the twenty-two exhibition rooms. Consisting of around 200 paintings and sculptures by modern masters, the Beyeler Collection was accumulated by Hildy and Ernst Beyeler during more than fifty years as successful gallery owners.
Hildy and Ernst Beyelerâ€™s collection of around 200 works by 40 artists provides an extensive overview of classic modern art. Starting with late and Post-Impressionist works by Paul CĂ©zanne, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, it continues via Cubism with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to other characteristic groups of works by Joan MirĂł, Piet Mondrian, Vasily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. American Expressionism is represented by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. The collectionâ€™s time-frame ends with works by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Luciano Fabro. A number of sculptures from Africa, Alaska and Oceania provide an exciting counterpoint to the works of European and American origin.Most of the works in the Beyeler Collection are paintings but it also includes a few sculptures. It ends with works by Baselitz, Kiefer and Fabro. Conceptual art, the second main development in modern art, and more recent trends are intentionally not represented in the permanent collection. Instead, they are dealt with in the context of temporary exhibitions designed to create a dialogue with contemporary art and to make the museum a dynamic forum for the presentation of artistsâ€™ ideas.
Through temporary exhibitions the Fondation Beyeler repeatedly creates links between the permanent collection and contemporary art. Up to four special exhibitions closely associated with the permanent collectionâ€™s contents and characters are held every year.
The Other Collection
Homage to Hildy and Ernst Beyeler
19 August 2007â€“6 January 2008
27 January 2008-18 May 2008
LĂ©ger and Amerika
1 June 2008-07 September 2008
Adults CHF 23.â€“ CHF 16.â€“
IV with identification and groups of at least 20 people CHF 18.â€“* CHF 12.â€“*
Students up to age 30 CHF 12.â€“ CHF 8.â€“
Children aged 11 to 19 CHF 6.â€“ CHF 6.â€“
Children up to age 10, Art Club members free admission free admission
Family Pass CHF 42.â€“ CHF 28.â€“
Upper Rhine Museum Pass CHF 5.â€“** CHF 5.â€“ **
Reduced admission fees every Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. (except on holydays)
* Seniors/AHV: from 18 March 2007, no further concession is granted
** New Arrangements Regarding the Upper Rhine Museum Pass as of January 1, 2006 As of January 1, 2006, new arrangements regarding the Upper Rhine Museum Pass will improve the remuneration situation for museums that mount elaborate exhibitions. Museums presenting a permanent or special exhibition at an admission fee of CHF 15.00/EUR 10.00 or more may request an additional fee from pass holders (not including accompanying children). This additional fee, amounting to a maximum of CHF 5.00/EUR 3.50, directly benefits the museum concerned.
Museum daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
New: The museum is open on all sundays and holidays.
We recommend the use of public transport (e.g. combined RailAway / SBB ticket at 10% discount, available at your station). The best way to reach the Fondation Beyeler is by tram no. 6 (from city center and Badischer Bahnhof station), or directly by train from Basel SBB main station and Badischer Bahnhof, getting off at Riehen (train continues to Zell / Germany). From Riehen stop it is another 5 to 10 minutesâ€™ walk.
Museum internal and external photos (3)
Click on the images to enlarge