Ernst and Hildy Beyeler were passionate champions of art all their lives. As gallery owners, collectors, exhibition organizers, and founders of the Fondation Beyeler, they wanted to share this passion with the general public. With the opening of the Fondation Beyeler museum in 1997, they made their world-famous collection of paintings and sculptures accessible to all. The museum in Riehen’s Berower Park was designed by architect Renzo Piano specifically for this purpose. Ernst and Hildy Beyeler, for whom exhibiting art was always a primary concern, laid the cornerstone of today’s Beyeler Collection with their successful activities as art dealers. Between 1947 and 2011, the Galerie Beyeler at no. 9, Bäumleingasse in Basel mounted some 300 exhibitions and sold countless works to major private collections and leading museums.
The quality of the Beyeler Collection can be seen in its concentration of masterpieces by prominent artists who have left an enduring mark upon modern art. A special accent thereby lies on the different forms of abstract art and the reciprocal relationships between figuration and abstraction. It was Ernst Beyeler’s express wish that, after his death, too, artworks should continue to be purchased for the collection in line with his vision. The scope and renown of the Beyeler Collection are continuously growing thanks to new acquisitions and donations. Since opening its doors, the Fondation Beyeler has also regularly presented world-class objects on long-term loan from artists and private collections.
The presentation of the Beyeler Collection changes several times a year, with the intention of combining individual pieces in thoughtful constellations that encourage fresh insights and new ways of seeing. The museum is thus a permanent forum for intensive exchanges, where the emphasis falls upon the visitor’s personal, first-hand encounter with art. In this new presentation for Spring 2016, the classic focal points of the Beyeler Collection (e.g. Cézanne / van Gogh and Monet) alternate with illuminating and dynamic juxtapositions (e.g. Balthus / Bourgeois, Picasso / Giacometti, and Serra / Bacon).