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Cartoonmuseum Basel

Postponed to 2021: Big City Life

Today: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

13 February 2021 - 15 August 2021

On the basis of Frans Masereel’s famous woodcuts, impressive testimonies to the human condition in the city during the interwar period, the exhibition «Big City Life» at Cartoonmuseum Basel presents originals by comics artists – works that are either set in the city or are about it. Focusing on the diversity of form and content in contemporary auteur comics, the exhibition brings together selected renowned artists from Europe and the USA.

Regardless of whether they celebrate the city as a laboratory of dynamism and modernity, brand it as a place of vice, find the village within it, despair of its anonymity, discover its poetry or show its chaos, the artists’ perceptions and representations of the city are just as idiosyncratic and diverse as the perspectives from which they view it as a habitat.

The affectionate drawings by Parisian gentleman Sempé, the precise everyday observations of Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner, inventor of the graphic novel, the bitter reaction to the 9/11 catastrophe by Pulitzer-Prize-winning comics artist Art Spiegelman, co-editor of «RAW magazine», the surreal urban tales by Gabriella Giandelli, and Helge Reumann’s worlds that oscillate between madness and humour – all are united by the strong presence of the city as a social space.

The techniques used to realise these works are as varied as the themes laid out here. They range from the impressions of city wanderer Christoph Niemann, sparingly and directly translated into paint, to Lorenzo Mattotti’s expressively abstracted ink works, from Chris Ware’s technically structured panels to Yann Kebbi’s spontaneous freehand drawings, and from reportage painted in blood by Michaël Matthys to the naive cardboard city by Belgian artist duo Thierry Van Hasselt and Marcel Schmitz.

© Gabriella Giandelli: Tutto l’anno (2014)

Cartoonmuseum Basel

OpenClosed | 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

St. Alban-Vorstadt 28,  4052  Basel

Opening Hours

Mo Closed  |  Tu 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM  |  We 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM  |  Th 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM  |  Fr 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM  |  Sa 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM  |  Su 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

Christmas/New Year 2022/2023

24 December 2022: Closed

25 December 2022: Closed

26 December 2022: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

31 December 2022: Closed

01 January 2023: Closed

Carnival 2023

27 February 2023: Closed

28 February 2023: Closed

01 March 2023: Closed

Easter 2023

07 April 2023: Closed

08 April 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

09 April 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

10 April 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

May Day 2023

01 May 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

Ascension Day 2023

18 May 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

Whitsun 2023

28 May 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

29 May 2023: Closed

Art Basel 2023

12 June 2023: Closed

13 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

14 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

15 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

16 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

17 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

18 June 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM

Swiss National Holiday 2023

01 August 2023: 11.00 AM - 5.00 PM


The Cartoonmuseum Basel is the only museum of its kind devoted exclusively to satirical art – from the caricature to the comic. The Late Gothic building on its historic site also includes an unexpected new building by Herzog & de Meuron. Varying, attractively designed exhibitions on political and social themes show the considerable scope of the humorous drawing and the great diversity of artistic techniques. Equal attention is paid to both classical works, some from the museum’s own stocks, and contemporary works.


Sfr. 12.— Adults
Sfr. 7.— Disabled persons and students up to 25 years
Children up to ten years free

colourkey Free admission

Museums-PASS-Musées Free admission

Swiss Museum Pass Free admission


tram 1/2/15 > Kunstmuseum

Cartoonmuseum Basel

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Guided Tour

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Curator-guided tour

30 October 2022 | 2.00 PM - 3.00 PM

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