About us

Exterior view of Museum Tinguely

Museum Tinguely – this museum is different: liveliness, laughter, amazement and discovery in a place that sets the senses in motion. An open house for adults and children alike that awakens a playful desire to experience art and think about creativity.

Museum Tinguely is located on the banks of the Rhine in Basel. Opened in 1996, it was designed by Ticino architect Mario Botta and houses the world’s largest collection of works by the fascinating Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925–1991), a key pioneer of international post-war art.
Our permanent exhibition gives an overview of his work, covering a period of four decades – from delicate early reliefs through to the monumental machine sculptures of the 1980s.
>> Find out more about Jean Tinguely

Grosse Meta Maxi Maxi Utopia (1986)

Photo: Stefan Schmidlin

Collection and exhibitions

Based on Tinguely’s imaginative universe, Museum Tinguely proposes a diverse programme that always seeks topical dialogue with other artists and artforms, offering an interactive experience that appeals to all of the senses. More than 120 exhibitions (and artistic interventions) have taken place since the opening, featuring Jean Tinguely and the artists he knew, including Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein and Marcel Duchamp, but also contemporary artists who address socially relevant issues of our time.
>> Current exhibition programme 

Das machTheater führt durch die Sammlung des Museum Tinguely

From concerts to barrier-free tours

The exhibitions are accompanied by a diverse programme of events, opening the museum up to a broad public: from concerts of classical music to DJ sets to family Sundays, from workshops for schools and adults to gatherings for senior citizens.

Museum Tinguely allows visitors to discover art and culture with all of their senses while enjoying a unique location. Surrounded by the picturesque Solitude Park and with access its own stretch of riverbank, it offers an attractive place for recreation and relaxation amid the bustle of city life. The museum’s own bistro, Chez Jeannot, welcomes both visitors to the museum and people strolling along the Rhine.
>>Calendar of events

Jean Tinguely, Méta-Harmonie II, 1979 Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, permanent loan in Museum Tinguely, Basel © 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich; photo: 2016, Museum Tinguely, Basel; Daniel Spehr

Jean Tinguely, Méta-Harmonie II, 1979
Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, permanent loan in Museum Tinguely, Basel
© 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich; photo: 2016, Museum Tinguely, Basel; Daniel Spehr

Centre of competence

Since 1996, the world’s largest collection of kinetic works by Jean Tinguely has been on show at Museum Tinguely in Basel. It includes 218 sculptures, more than half of which are on display, most of them in working order. Keeping the works in motion is one of the key tasks of the restoration department, achieved on the one hand by daily inspection and supervision of the works on show, and on the other by long-term planning and specific conservation strategies.

Alongside the current permanent exhibition on Tinguely’s life and work, visitors can discover a further highlight on the museum’s second floor, where our open workshop offers a unique opportunity to look over the shoulders of the restoration team as they go about their daily work of looking after kinetic works. The workshop’s large glass wall offers a view of every detail, down to the toolboxes, making it a platform for exchange between experts and interested visitors. Together with the archive, the workshop is a centre of competence for the study and restoration of Tinguely’s oeuvre.
>>Find out more about the Centre of competence

The Schauatelier conservation & restoration at Museum Tinguely © 2021, Museum Tinguely; photo: Daniel Spehr

The Schauatelier conservation & restoration at Museum Tinguely
© Museum Tinguely; photo: Daniel Spehr

Archiv Museum Tinguely

The Museum Tinguely archive contains around 1,500 works on paper. As well as drawings, illustrated letters and prints by Jean Tinguely it also holds other documents (manuscripts, photographs, audiovisual media) on the life and work of Tinguely and his associates, all of which are available for research purposes.

With its collection, the archive, and the open workshop, Museum Tinguely is the world’s foremost centre of competence on the life and work of Jean Tinguely.
>>Contact our archive

Museum Tinguely –
a cultural commitment of Roche

Museum Tinguely was founded in 1996 to mark the centenary of Roche, as a gesture of gratitude to the people of Basel. Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely’s widow, donated fifty machine sculptures and a large number of drawings and other archive materials from the artist’s estate to the centenary foundation created by Roche specifically for this purpose. Since 1996, the running of the museum and the maintenance of Solitude Park have been financed exclusively by Roche. The company sees the museum as part of its tradition of support for contemporary music and art, which also includes the projects Roche Commissions and Roche ’n’ Jazz. Like Roche, Museum Tinguely focuses on innovation, quality and sustainability.  

>> Read more about Roche
>> Read more about Roche 'n' Jazz