Kunstmuseum Bern, also known as the Museum of Fine Arts Bern, is a renowned art museum located in Bern, Switzerland. It houses over 4,000 paintings and sculptures, ranging from medieval to contemporary art. Kunstmuseum Bern is also one of the oldest art museums in Switzerland. In this article, we will discuss what you can expect when visiting Kunstmuseum Bern.
Overview: Kunstmuseum Bern
Kunstmuseum Bern is a Swiss fine arts museum located in the city of Bern near the train station. Although it is largely at the edge of the old town and close to the Aare River, it is only a ten-minute walk away from the Zytglogge Clock Tower.
Established in 1879, this Neo-Renaissance style art museum exhibits and collects art from all over the world. Architect Karl Ludwig Eugen Stettler designed it.
Since 2015, Kunstmuseum Bern has been managed jointly with Zentrum Paul Klee.
My Experience at Kunstmuseum Bern
Though the museum is quite small, especially in comparison to Kunsthaus Zurich or Plateforme 10 in Lausanne, I liked both the permanent collection and the temporary collection. Moreover, it was very affordable at CHF 10, so it seemed like a great deal to me.
One of the things I really liked about this museum was that its permanent collection showcased some of Switzerland’s most beautiful natural landscapes. In particular, the painting of Lauterbrunnen by Franz Niklaus König was realistic and incredibly beautiful. I also really liked the Matterhorn painting by Gabriel Loppé.
There are a number of examples, such as:
|Der Staubbach im Lauterbrunnental, 1804||Franz Niklaus König||Staubbach Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen|
|Das Matterhorn, 1867||Gabriel Loppé||Matterhorn mountain|
|Thunersee mit Stockhornkette im Winter, 1912/1913||Ferdinand Hodler||Lake Thun and Stockhorn mountain|
|Genfersee mit Salève und Schwanen, 1914/1915||Ferdinand Hodler||Lake Geneva and Salève mountain|
Aside from the beautiful paintings of Swiss landscapes that you can find in Kunstmuseum Bern, there are also works by Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, and Augusto Giacometti.
The art museum offers a rich collection of artworks in a well-curated environment, despite its size.
Colorful Katharina Grosse Studio Paintings
While Kunstmuseum Bern is renowned for its extensive collection of art pieces, it also has a temporary collection that changes every couple of months. Some of these previous temporary exhibitions include Gurlitt, Heidi Bucher, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Ernst Kreidolf, and more.
At the time of my visit, Katharina Grosse’s paintings were on display. As a contrast to the somber mood of the other paintings at the art museum, I also really enjoyed her large, colorful works.
Practical Information for Visiting Kunstmuseum Bern
- Kunstmuseum Bern is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The museum closes later every Tuesday at 9:00 PM.
- It costs CHF 10 to get into the museum. There is a separate fee for the temporary exhibitions.
- Public guided tours cost CHF 5 per person.
- Audio guides can be rented for CHF 6 per person.
- There are lockers in the basement for you to stow away your bag(s).
- There is an art souvenir shop near the cashier or front desk where you can buy books, souvenirs, and more.
- When the museum is open, there is a small cafe where you can get snacks and sandwiches.
How to Get to Kunstmuseum Bern
|Address||Hodlerstrasse 8 – 11|
|Tram||Bern, Bärenplatz (4-min)|
|Bus||Bern, Bollwerk (2-min)|
Bern, Hodlerstrasse (4-min)
Final Thoughts: Kunstmuseum Bern
Visitors to Kunstmuseum Bern enjoy diverse and unique exhibitions showcasing art from different periods and regions of the world.
Despite being small, this museum has some inspiring paintings, especially those of Lauterbrunnen and Matterhorn, which give you a better sense of Switzerland. I also appreciated the notes on how the paintings changed hands throughout the years.
Would I recommend Kunstmuseum Bern to others? I think Kunstmuseum Bern is definitely worth a visit if you are in Bern and appreciate art. For something more extensive, Kunsthaus Zurich offers a bigger gallery with more artwork on display.
Art lovers should not miss Kunstmuseum Bern, with its impressive collection, stunning architecture, and convenient location. The museum offers visitors a wide range of artistic styles to choose from.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.