Switzerland’s oldest permanent art collection showcases works spanning eight centuries from Switzerland, Europe and the rest of the world.
Recently the subject of some controversy over whether or not it would accept a bequest of some 1,000 artworks from the German collector Cornelius Gurlitt that include many stolen by the Nazis from Jewish families, Bern’s Kunstmuseum houses Switzerland’s oldest permanent collection. Its mission is twofold – both to represent art’s global evolution and to champion local responses to that journey over the years. Works spanning eight centuries can be seen here, most rewardingly from the medieval Italian masters like Fra Angelico and Botticelli onwards up to modern painters including Manet, Picasso, Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock. Swiss art meanwhile can be traced from 15th-century painters such as Niklaus Manuel Deutsch and Ferdinand Hodler to Paul Klee, whose modest selection here is preferred by many to the vast portfolio at the shiny showstopper Zentrum Paul Klee up the road. Impressionism, cubism, expressionism, blaue reiter and surrealism all make their marks among the museum’s 3,000 paintings and sculptures, and temporary exhibitions regularly add deftly judged contemporary angles to the mix.
|Venue name:||Kunstmuseum Bern|
|Opening hours:||10am-9pm Tue, 10am-5pm Wed-Sun|
|Transport:||Bus 11, 20, 21|
|Price:||All exhibitions CHF26 adults, CHF22 concessions; temporary exhibitions up to CHF20 adults, CHF16 concessions; collection CHF7 adults, CHF5 concessions; under-16s free in all exhibitions|