The Collection
from Ferdinand Hodler to Pablo Picasso, from Meret Oppenheim to El Anatsui

Ferdinand Hodler Stockhornkette

The Kunstmuseum Bern owns an important collection of art from the late Middle Ages to the present. The current presentation of the collection shows a selection of around 190 outstanding works of Swiss and international art from the late 18th to the 21st century.

In the basement of the historical Stettler building the central avant-garde trends of modern art are represented with Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and abstract art. Highlights include Violin Hanging on a Wall by Pablo Picasso, Meret Oppenheim’s Enchantment, or Piet Mondrian’s Painting No. II. The presentation is complemented by a selection of works by the Bern artist Adolf Wölfli from the holdings of the Adolf Wölfli Foundation.

On the first floor, works by El Anatsui and Kader Attia as representatives of global contemporary art form the prelude. A neighboring room features the very greatest names of international art history: Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. Landscapes by Swiss exponents of modern art such as Félix Vallotton and Giovanni Giacometti complete the exhibition. A side cabinet is dedicated to the legacy of Eberhard W. Kornfeld (1923–2023). It presents the five prestigious paintings that the famous art dealer, collector, and influential mediator bequeathed to the Kunstmuseum Bern in an extraordinarily generous gesture.

The upper floor offers a wide range of insights into Swiss art from the late 18th to the early 20th century. On display are mountain landscapes from Caspar Wolf to Ferdinand Hodler as well as self-portraits from Clara von Rappard to Max Buri. In the main room, works from the motifs of childhood, youth and reading are presented, which thematically relate to the exhibition Albert Anker. Reading Girls. A side cabinet with an installation by Markus Raetz complements the presentation as a tribute to the Bernese artist, who passed away in 2020.

The basement of the Atelier 5 building brings together paintings by famous representatives of Abstract Expressionism – for example Jackson Pollock’s Brown and Silver II and Lee Krasner’s Forest no 2 – with works by concrete and abstract artists such as Sophie Taeuber-Arp or Max Bill.

List of works from our collection on display

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