Salvador Dalí, Les Atavismes du crépuscule (phénomène obsessif), um 1933

With around 4,000 paintings and sculptures and some 70,000 drawings, prints, videos, installations and photographs, the collection of the Kunstmuseum Bern highlights important groups of works and different periods from the late Middle Ages to the present day. Their complexity is an expression of our historical relationship with Bern and the specific history of our collection.

In addition, the Kunstmuseum Bern is characterized by a large number of associated foundations that contribute significant collections. As a result, it is closely linked to private commitment and reflects the unique diversity and cultural wealth of our region.

  • Blick in einen Saal mit einem Teil der Sammlung des Kunstmuseum Bern.
  • Amedeo Modigliani, Stehender Akt (Elvira), 1918
  • Roter Kopf, blauer Körper von Meret Oppenheim
  • Strickendes Mädchen von Albert Anker
  • Meret Oppenheim, Verzauberung, 1962
  • Georges Braque, Häuser in l'Estaque, 1908
  • Louis-René Moilliet, Im Variété, 1913
  • August Macke, Gartenrestaurant, 1912
  • Max Ernst, Wald und Sonne (Nachtlandschaft), 1928
  • Johannes Itten, Komposition in Blau, 1918
  • Salvador Dalí, Les Atavismes du crépuscule (phénomène obsessif), um 1933
  • Marc Chagall, Dédié à ma fiancée, 1911
  • Hans Arp, Duogemälde nach einer mit Sophie Taeuber gemeinsam ausgeführten Zeichnung, 1948/1949
  • Our collections are characterized by a clear connection to the city and canton of Bern, e.g. with the important works of the "Bernese carnation master" Niklaus Manuel, by the holdings of Swiss art of the 18th and 19th centuries, above all the groups of works by Caspar Wolf, Albert Anker and Ferdinand Hodler, but also the works of Adolf Wölfli, long considered "outsider art".

    International modernism is represented by important works of Cubism - in particular by Pablo Picasso and George Braque -, the Blue Rider, Expressionism - in particular Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and his Swiss work -, the Bauhaus with key works by Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, the best collection of works by Meret Oppenheim by international standards, important works by Louise Bourgeois and extensive holdings of kinetic art, light art and media art.

    Since the early 1990s, the Kunstmuseum Bern has played a pioneering role in Switzerland in the inclusion of female artists in its collection, including Miriam Cahn, Marina Abramović and Maria Lassnig, and in the acquisition of works by non-European artists such as Teruko Yokoi, Kader Attia, Kim Sooja, Nam June Paik, Moshekwa Langa, El Anatsui, Zarina Bhimji and Tracey Rose.

  • Research at the Kunstmuseum Bern is characterized by the combination of art historical collection and provenance research as well as material and technology-based research. Work-related, object-based, interdisciplinary research is a special quality of museums.

    New insights into our collections are a benefit for the institution and the basis for thematic diversity in exhibitions; they flow into the communication to a broad public. The materiality, the production process and the journey of an artifact to its current storage location are part of our curatorial work. They are often closely linked to legal, economic, social and not least ethical questions, which can fundamentally shape our relationship to a work today.

    By accepting the Cornelius Gurlitt bequest, the Kunstmuseum Bern has also committed itself to systematic provenance research and progressive restitution practices. The central questions of provenance research touch on work-related and art-historical approaches, biographies, political structures, the trade in art and the history of collecting. We not only want to lead the way as a research institution, but also in the way in which the methods, processes and results of our research are incorporated into our communication with visitors. We want to find new ways to present these connections clearly and comprehensibly to a wide range of target groups in order to better communicate our material and intellectual heritage to everyone.

Highlights from the collection

These videos offer you classic work descriptions and background information on selected works from our collection.

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