Museum der Kulturen Basel, Switzerland

StrohGold, Ebene03, MKB; Branding; Hof; Kran; Dach

The collections of the Museum der Kulturen Basel go back to the mid-19th century. With the valuable pieces from Ancient America donated by the Basel businessman Lukas Vischer, the city at the knee of the Rhine came into possession of one of the first ethnological collections in Europe.

Today, the Museum der Kulturen Basel is among the most important ethnographic museums in Europe. Its collection of more than 300,000 objects is impressive and of world renown. Over generations, comprehensive collections were built up focusing on particular areas, with valuable objects from Europe, Africa, America, Oceania, Indonesia, South, Central and East Asia. In addition to ethnographic artefacts, it also has a collection of around 50,000 historic photographs. The present focus of the museum is on preserving, researching and communicating the collections.

The Museum der Kulturen Basel reopened after renovation in 2011 with stylish exhibition rooms flooded with light which invite to stroll and gaze. The new exhibition rooms with a separate entrance and an extravagant roof were designed by world famous architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Aside of the two permanent exhibition the Museum der Kulturen Basel features 3 to 5 special exhibitions per year. Interactive events intend to present an anthropological topic of interest, discuss current societal issues and tell stories from a fresh or at least different perspective, offering new and often surprising ways of looking at our everyday life.

Permanent Collections: The Museum der Kulturen Basel operates an ethnological museum in 11 buildings, managed in accordance with the principles of the International Council of Museums, based on the model principles for the Basel Museums and the Museums Act.

Permanent exhibitions include “Expeditions. The World in a Suitcase”: between the end of the nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century explorers from Basel went on numerous expeditions, laying the foundation for the city’s extensive ethnographic collections. The exhibition traces the history of these expeditions.

Another pemanent exhibition is “StrawGold – Cultural Transformations Rendered Visible”, which focuses on cultural appropriation and transformation processes. Items of everyday use, technologies, materials, political ideas as well as religious beliefs spread not only across regions, but across the entire world. In their new settings they are gradually absorbed and creatively woven into new cultural contexts.

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