Guided tour

Best-of – Cancelled
31 May 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Best-of – abgesagt
Guided tour
Best-of – Cancelled
31 May 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The most valuable, the best known, and the most popular – the “Best of” guided tour presents select objects from all exhibitions. At the same time, we question the criteria of such rankings. What are they based on: collectors’ interests, scientific value, or personal preferences? What’s at the top of your personal list, and why?

> With Reingard Dirscherl

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Best-of – abgesagt

Grasping anthropology

African worlds in China – cancelled
3 June 2020 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Afrikanische Welten in China – abgesagt
Grasping anthropology
African worlds in China – cancelled
3 June 2020, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

Guangzhou in southern China is a global trade centre where traders from across the world go about their business. Cheap as well as fake products labelled “Made in China” find their way from there to Africa, among many other places. Students of the Institute of Social Anthropology Basel tell about their fieldwork practice in Guangzhou and how African communities live in the Chinese megacity.

> With students of the Institute of Social Anthropology, Lesley Braun, lecturer at the Institute, Franziska Jenni, curator for Africa, and Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Afrikanische Welten in China – abgesagt

Special event

Best of Shakespeare – cancelled
7 June 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Special event
Best of Shakespeare – cancelled
7 June 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

With members of the Basel Symphony Orchestra

Works by Sergei Prokofiev und Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Pure enjoyment in the museum courtyard: bring with you a picnic basket, a folding chair, or a blanket, we’ll provide the music and entertainment.

Concert in dry weather only. Check whether the concert is on at www.sinfonieorchesterbasel.ch

> Calendar
> PDF

Kids and families

Raise the curtain for the theatre in a shoebox! – cancelled
7 June 2020 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Kids and families
Raise the curtain for the theatre in a shoebox! – cancelled
7 June 2020, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

A shoebox becomes the stage for your stories. Create a fantasy world or a stage for your favourite fairy tale, maybe even an underwater world! There are no limits to your imagination!

> With Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Bima, Mr Punch, and Demon – cancelled
7 June 2020 14:00 - 15:00 PM
Guided tour
Bima, Mr Punch, and Demon – cancelled
7 June 2020, 14:00 - 15:00 PM

Puppetry hinges on seemingly lifeless figures and objects. Let yourself to be drawn into these gripping stories about love and life.

> With Nadja Breger

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Kids and families

10 years of mini.musik – cancelled
14 June 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
10 Jahre mini.musik – abgesagt
Kids and families
10 years of mini.musik – cancelled
14 June 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The concert series mini.musik is celebrating its 10th anniversary – join in the celebrations! At the anniversary concert in the museum courtyard, the Basel Symphony Orchestra digs deep into its musical treasure chest and comes up with a fireworks of music.

With Irena Müller-Brozovic, concept and presentation, Norbert Steinwarz, choreography and dance

 

Concert in dry weather only. Check whether the concert is on at www.sinfonieorchesterbasel.ch

> Calendar
> PDF

10 Jahre mini.musik – abgesagt

Guided tour

Gender trouble – cancelled
14 June 2020 14:00 - 15:00 PM
Gender Trouble – abgesagt
Guided tour
Gender trouble – cancelled
14 June 2020, 14:00 - 15:00 PM

The guided tour looks at objects from the perspective of male/female relationships, revealing a number of surprising facets of “gender trouble” in the never-ending interplay of male and female identities.

> With Eli Wilhelm

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Gender Trouble – abgesagt

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania – cancelled
21 June 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut – abgesagt
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania – cancelled
21 June 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – is now a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Réka Mascher-Frigyesi

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut – abgesagt

Special event

Memory
25 June 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Memory
25 June 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

The exhibition playfully reveals the manifold practices of how people remember specific moments in life, but also how they are quickly forgotten. From birth to death, significant events are passed on by word of mouth, carved in stone, or, as the case may be, never disclosed.

You and your friends are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition.

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Memory
28 June 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Memory
28 June 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The exhibition playfully reveals the manifold practices of how people remember specific moments in life, but also how they are quickly forgotten. From birth to death, significant events are passed on by word of mouth, carved in stone, or, as the case may be, never disclosed.  

> With curator Alex Brust

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Enlightened
24 September 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Enlightened
24 September 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening.

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Snow
19 November 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Snow
19 November 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening.

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Museum > History

History

The Ethnographic Committee met for the first time in 1893. Hence the year is listed as the museum’s founding date.

The origins of the museum trace back to the mid-nineteenth century. The “Museum der Stadt Basel” (Basel Municipal Museum) presented in the newly opened Berri building (1849), among other things, Lukas Vischer’s remarkable Mexican collection, making Basel one of the first cities in Europe with an ethnographic collection open to the public.

 

In the early years it was culture-minded members of the Basel upper class who supplied the museum with objects gathered on their journeys across the world. Later, in the course of the professionalization of anthropology, the task of collecting was increasingly left to expert scholars such as Fritz and Paul Sarasin, Felix Speiser, Alfred Bühler and Paul Wirz who significantly extended the range and scope of the museum’s collections.

 

In 1892 the Basel government decided to separate the ethnographic from the historical-antiquarian collection and set up a committee to manage the new collection. The committee met for the first time in the following year, which is why 1893 is listed as the museum’s founding date. But it was only in 1918 that the ethnographic collection was renamed “Museum für Völkerkunde” (Museum of Ethnology). Fritz Sarasin was the first chairman of the collection and director of the museum, respectively.

 

In 1944 the Swiss Federal Council granted the museum’s European department, established in 1904, the title “Schweizerisches Museum für Volkskunde” (Swiss Museum of European Folklife). Henceforth the institution was called “Museum für Völkerkunde und Schweizerisches Museum für Volkskunde”. In 1996 the house received its present name “Museum der Kulturen Basel”.

 

One of the many highlights in the museum’s history was the visit of the Dalai Lama in 2001 for the opening of the exhibition Tibet. Buddha, Gods, Saints, which was shown until 2008. A further milestone was the reopening of the museum in 2011 after extensive refurbishment. It included a reorientation in terms of content and design, an extension and redefinition of the copious courtyard, and a new entrance opening on to the Münsterplatz.

> Architecture
> Collection

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