The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, September 17, 2021


Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel pays homage to its most important patron
Installation view Kunstmuseum Basel | Hauptbau Künstler, Beteiligte: Bilderlust. Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt - Sammeln und Stiften in Basel. Photo: Julian Salinas



BASEL.- A hundred years after the death of Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt (1845–1920), the Kunstmuseum pays homage to its most important patron in the early twentieth century. The exhibition in the main building’s ground floor galleries presents many of the outstanding works that Bachofen-Burckhardt secured for the museum.

“It is my ardent hope that I will yet be able to acquire many a fine piece for the beloved city of my ancestors,” the collector wrote to Wilhelm von Bode in January 1916; the eminent art historian, who led the Berlin State Museums from 1905 until 1920, regularly sent her recommendations on paintings to purchase. Her ambitious objective was a fundamental transformation of the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, the public art collection of the City of Basel: a treasure of regional significance with an emphasis on art from the Upper Rhine Valley, it was to become an institution of European standing on a par with museums in London, Berlin, and Paris. To this end, she greatly enlarged the collection of paintings her husband, Jakob Bachofen-Burckhardt, had brought into the marriage and, in 1904, donated all pictures to a foundation she created in his name.

The Kunstmuseum Basel was the foundation’s designated sole beneficiary, and so, upon Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt’s death, no fewer than 303 paintings, dating from between the late Middle Ages and the dawn of the twentieth century, entered the museum’s collection, including major works by Bartolomeo Vivarini, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Memling, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Frans Francken II, Dirck Hals, Nicolaes Maes, Nicolaes Berchem, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van Goyen, Harmen Steenwyck, Rachel Ruysch, Jean-Étienne Liotard, and Alexandre-François Desportes.

Extraordinarily self-effacing, Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt shunned public attention—in her last will, she enjoined the papers from printing any obituaries—and dedicated her efforts to the memory of her late husband, the author of the famous book on matriarchy as the origin of all social systems. That is why she has remained a largely obscure figure despite her outstanding achievements: she was without a doubt a leading art collector at a time when few women ventured into this male-dominated field.

The centenary of her death is a welcome opportunity to throw the spotlight on the Kunstmuseum Basel’s benefactress and her activities in the booming art market around 1900. Drawing on unpublished sources, the exhibition devoted to Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt is also a tribute to the generosity of the foundation she established, which, in 2015, made an outright gift of the paintings that had been at the museum on permanent loan for many years.

A Passion for Painting vividly demonstrates how much of the Kunstmuseum’s present-day profile and renown are due to Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt’s endeavors. No less important than the addition of her treasures to the collection—with a single stroke of the pen, she more than doubled the museum’s holdings of Old Master paintings—is her influence as a shining example: a pioneer in the field of art collecting and philanthropy in Switzerland, she was surely an inspiration for many later Basel patrons such as Hans Vonder Mühll and Max Geldner.

Bachofen-Burckhardt was a child of her time, and the exhibition, without disparaging her accomplishments and generosity, offers a critical assessment of her discernment as a collector. A number of works she acquired were later revealed to have been painted by someone other than the artist to whom she had attributed them. Several pictures even show characteristics of regional styles inconsistent with the places of origin with which critics around 1900 associated them. Some works that were thought to be original creations have been reclassified as copies, and in a few instances, Bachofen-Burckhardt was taken in by outright forgeries.

Such reassessments are hardly surprising in a collection built between the final years of the nineteenth century and ca. 1915/20. Open questions clearly remain when it comes to Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt’s Old Master collection. Yet scholars now have a much better understanding of many issues than Louise Bachofen-Burckhardt, Wilhelm von Bode, and their contemporaries could possibly have had. The exhibition seeks to shed light on this development—not in order to call the outstanding merits of this benefactress in question, but so as to document the progress that an entire discipline has made.










Today's News

January 2, 2020

The Belle Époque comes to life through stunning exhibition in Vero Beach

Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel pays homage to its most important patron

Museums throw open the storage rooms, letting in the public

Berlinische Galerie acquires a work by Lotte Laserstein

Woody Vasulka, whose video art extended boundaries, dies at 82

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris presents an exhibition devoted to Irving Penn's still lifes

Mourning Iraq's destruction, a native son creates

Book offers the most comprehensive overview of Christo and Jeanne[Claude to date

Couture creations for dancing bodies

The Regional Government 0f Bizkaia agrees to house Zubieta's Goyas in the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum for 7 years

Arte Fiera announces the list of galleries participating at its 44th edition

Major exhibition of early works by Alan Davie and David Hockney on view at The Hepworth Wakefield

Munnings Art Museum announces lavish new book of previously unseen letters between the artist and his wife

Museum of Anthropology explores urgent social issues through ceramic arts in new exhibition

'Don't believe a word,' a look at language and power (and why dolphins have accents)

Exhibition features some of the best international Indigenous contemporary art

Retrospective on the work of Mario Merz on view at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid

Johanna Kandl explores the physical dimension of artworks in exhibition at the Lower Belvedere

Folk puppets keeping heritage of Egyptian satire alive

First New York exhibition by The Beautiful Project on view at The Met's Education Center

Adam Driver has put everything he's got on screen

Review: Anna Netrebko rings in the year with a Met Gala

Maria Phillips' Bellevue Arts Museum exhibition interrogates our relationship with plastic

Burning issue: China's incense makers toil ahead of Lunar New Year

Design Ideas from The World's Best Online Casinos

Online slots in Canada - best way to play

Poets and mobile applications - a digital approach to writing

Lootie's provably fair system

The Best Vape Brand of 2020

ICT Suites: The Plethora of Advantages it Offers




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful