The Kunstmuseum Basel houses the Galerie (Gallery) and the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings). The main focus is on paintings and drawings by artists active in the Upper Rhine region between 1400 and 1600 and on the art of the 19th to 21st centuries.
The Kunstmuseum Basel possesses the worlds largest collection of works by the Holbein family. Further examples of Renaissance art include major pieces by such masters as Konrad Witz, Martin Schongauer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Mathias Grünewald. Most of these early treasures originally belonged to the collection of a Basel lawyer, Basilius Amerbach. Purchased by the city in 1661, they formed the core of the worlds first public municipal museum.
Paintings by Basel-born Arnold Böcklin feature among the 19th-century highlights. In the field of 20th-century art, the accent is on Cubism (Picasso, Braque, Léger), German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism and American art since 1950. Contemporary art is exhibited at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Museum of Contemporary Art).