Tinguely Museum, Basel

The Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely was born in Fribourg but grew up in the Gundeldingen area of Basel (before moving to France in 1952), so obviously the people of Basel like him a lot. He has his very own fountain on Theaterplatz (Theatre Square) and also has a museum in Basel. As we had a friend visiting this weekend and yesterday was supposed to be rainy (which ended up being a lie!) we decided to go to the Tinguely museum. Jean Tinguely is best known for his mechanical, moving sculptures, known officially as metamechanics. I would show you a video of a fountain that was outside the museum (you were allowed to take photos inside the museum without a flash, but not videos – although it didn’t say no filming anywhere so I did make one video before being told off my a member of staff. Oops!), but it’s in a format that WordPress doesn’t accept so… sorry! Here are some photos:

You get the idea, right?

Some of Tinguely’s works are really cool… others are weird or slightly disturbing. A few examples:

If you’re thinking all of those look cool it’s because I didn’t take photos of the really weird ones 😉

The machines in the following galleries are all drawing machines. There was one in the gift shop which you could purchase a token and a piece of paper for and then have it draw you your very own picture. I didn’t do one but we did see that machine in use while browsing in the shop.

Currently the museum is also exhibiting works by the Swiss artist Eva Aeppli in one of its rooms. Aeppli was married to Tinguely from 1951 to 1961 and died on 4 May 2015. I only took a photo of one of her sculptures… how creepy is this?

Tinguely museumIt’s called The Five Widows.

My favourite thing in the whole museum was this sculpture that you were allowed to climb on. Parts of it also moved.

I was disappointed that the spiral staircase was off-limits!

Tinguely’s sculptures are not exactly what you’d call “classical” art, and neither are they particularly, pretty/decorative, but they’re definitely interesting! The museum is a great place to spend an afternoon, and I imagine children would like the moving sculptures as well (even though you’re not allowed to touch!). I really enjoyed our visit to the museum and will definitely take future visitors there.

I’m linking this post up with My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase for Monday Escapes. Click the button to find out more!

My Travel Monkey
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14 thoughts on “Tinguely Museum, Basel

  1. My kids would love this! I had never heard of Jean Tinguely before but I’m keen to explore more of his work now, it looks and sounds like the kind of museum that children would really enjoy – especially the sculpture that you’re allowed to climb on! #MondayEscapes

    1. I had never heard of him til we saw some sculptures of his in Stockholm. His second wife was Nike de saint Phalle, so his stuff is often exhibited with hers – she’s famous for “Nanas”, giant, colourful vaguely female-shaped things.

  2. This looks like an amazing museum. I think we would all love it here especially the large climbing sculpture. Such a shame the staircase was out of bounds. The five widows is fascinating and creepy all at the same time! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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