About Jean Tinguely Museum

Designed by a famous architect Mario Botta, Jean Tinguely museum is one of its kind museums which is filled with artistic concoctions of sculptures created by a renowned scientist, Jean Tinguely. Basel is the hometown of Jean Tinguely and the museum is in a way tribute to his glorious work. The museum holds the collection of all kinds of varied machine sculptures created by the scientist throughout his career. 

The most eccentric part about these sculptors is that they are kinetic based and buttons next to each sculptor can set them in motion for a period of time. It is a delightful experience to watch the artifacts shake, twirl, move, make noise and more. All these sculptures are made out of interesting machines which are assembled out of different random materials like horns, iron, plastic, skulls and more. 

Apart from the work of Jean Tinguely, the museum also features some of his partners' Niki de Saint Phalle’s work. One can see a series of beautiful and colorful statues of oversized women. The Italian Architect has done tremendous work in making this structure beautiful inside out. The museum comes with a garden on the side with an impressive fountain located at the center and striking flora spread across a wide area.

How to Reach Jean Tinguely Museum

Visitors can reach the museum by renting a car, through bus or even train. 

The closest train stations to the museum are Basel Tinguely museum (71 meters away), Basel Museum Jean Tinguely (271 meters away), Basel Rankstrasse (366 meters away), Basel Wettsteinallee (371 meters away) and Basel Garage Rank (408 meters away). You can take the train line 6 to get down at the stops near the museum. 

You shall look for bus lines 36 and 38 from wherever you are as these buses will drop you right in front of the museum. 

You can hire a cab and tell the cab driver to take you to the Tinguely Museum. Meanwhile you can gaze outside the window and soak in the foreign vibes of the country.

Best Time to Visit Jean Tinguely Museum

The best time to visit Basel is between mid-May till the end of June. This way you get to experience the offset of winters and arrival of summers with pleasant weather. You can plan your visit to Jean Tinguely museum around the same time to relish the cheerful weather without exhausting yourself.

Mid-august to the end of October also experiences peak tourist season in Basel. Many interesting exhibitions are organized in the museum during this duration.

What Not to Miss at Jean Tinguely Museum

Here are some of the exhibitions held at Jean Tinguely Museum:

1. Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art
Bringing together the artwork by international artists, Museum Tinguely continues the series of senses in terms of arts. The context will revolve around the tasting sense in social interactions in artistic material.

The artwork features various renowned artists like Otobong Nkanga, Marisa Benjamin, Elizabeth Willing, Andy Warhol, Shimabuku and Janine Antoni. The exhibition will begin on 19th February and will go on till 17th May 2020. 

2. Pedro Reyes. Return to Sender
Pedro Ryes have worked with weapons and wanted to address the systemic problems of the arms industry with a touch of pacifist structure. Along with Disarm, Pedro has repurposed all the gun parts and has transformed them into music boxes.

These music boxes perform fragments of different tunes from the countries where the gun was produced. The artists belong to Mexico City and prefer using different sculptures in varied projects. The exhibition will begin on 15th April 2020 and will extend till 25th October 2020. 

3. Taro Izumi exhibition 
The famous Japanese artist Taro Izumi takes a mischievous take on art and the world. His first major solo exhibition is going to be held on 10th June 2020 and will go on till 27th September 2020. Izumi has crafted a whole collection of unusual and eccentric pictures using his absurd and impertinent spirit.

His unclassified multimedia work takes a unique view towards the journey of limits of reality. You will witness some pieces like people licking the floor, washing machine on a pyramid, giant cat and more.

Other Essential Information About Jean Tinguely Museum


The museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. It is closed on Mondays for visitors. 
Basel is located in the Rhine valley in Paul Sacher- Anlage 
Entry Fees:
The entry fee of children under 16 years of age who are accompanied by an adult person is free. Students and disabled persons have to pay about 12 CHF. Entry fee for adults is 12 CHF and for a group, more than 12 persons are 12 CHF. If you have Museums pass Musee and Swiss Museum Pass, you will get a free entry. Also, if you have a Basel card, you will get a 50 percent discount on museum admission.

History of Jean Tinguely Museum

Jean Tinguely was one of the most prominent and innovative Swiss artists back in the 20th century. This museum is a habitat of all his work over four decades presented with an eccentric touch of kinetics and arts.

The museum was established back in 1996 and along with the work of Jean Tinguely, the museum also houses other art contemporaries of the 20th and 21st centuries like Yves Klien, Marcel Duchamp, Niki de Saint Phalle, Arman and more.

Since the practice of Jean Tinguely’s work was largely based on machines, the functional process of kinetics and apparatus in motion; the sculptors were created as a beautiful crossover with art and science. All the sculptors present in the museum can be set in motion with a button attached to them on the side. This is one of the world’s largest museums in the world that possess modern sculptors that can be set in motion.

The Architecture of the Jean Tinguely Museum

The building of the Jean Tinguely Museum is designed methodically to refurnish the urban void between the 20th century and modern architecture. The design embraces the adjacent park while the river Rhine forms a perfect outer border of the city and the rectangular shape of the museum forms a specific surrounding space.

The southern part of the architecture elongates the suspended section which is detached from the body of the building. As soon as the visitor enters the building, the promenade prepares them to form a connection between the contexts of the art.

Inside the building, there’s a massive space filled with natural light that falls in fascinating configurations across the different exhibition floors. As per its outward appearance, the structure of the building seems compact but the insides are more modular and flexible, rich in longitudinal designs. 

There are a total of three levels of exhibition spaces above the ground level and all these levels act as a sound barrier against the green spaces. The interior of the building comes with a static support system which is coordinated with an underground reservoir that existed prior to the building.

Collections at Jean Tinguely Museum

Jean Tinguely Museum consists of the world’s biggest collection of modernist sculptures by artists which can be set into motion with a mere push of a button. Not only Tinguely’s work but the museum houses the artwork of many artists whose practices have been connected to Tinguely’s work throughout their career.

The kinetic fountain situated in the middle of the garden adjacent to the museum is the heart of the museum. There are also some collections that include artworks from various painters, filmmakers, sculptors like Yves Klien, Niki de Saint Phalle and more.

The collections draw inspiration from all periods of his career and his fellow contemporaries. There are also tons of drawings, documents, exhibition posters, documentation, letter-drawings catalogs, photographs and more.

Bistro Restaurant at Jean Tinguely Museum

Bistro Restaurant is a stunning restaurant situated right across the river in the backside of the Jean Tinguely Museum. The restaurant hosts a small but fantastic menu with a blend of Swiss and German cuisine. The ambiance is gorgeous with interiors filled with posters related to the Tinguely museum.

There’s both indoor and outdoor terrace seating with a splendid view of the river. Few of the most popular dishes of the restaurant are Caprese salad, chicken steak, and risotto. Bistro restaurant is definitely worth a visit to have a delicious lunch and a pleasant experience.

Travelers Tips for visiting the Jean Tinguely Museum

The Jean Tinguely museum is closed on Mondays and other holidays like Christmas Eve, Christmas day, Swiss National day and St. Stephen’s day. So plan your trip accordingly.

You can put your belongings like bags by paying CHF2 in a locker located on the second floor. 

Take about 2 to 3 hours to explore the whole museum.
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People Also Ask About Jean Tinguely Museum

  1. Is there any locker/washroom facility available?

    The locker facility is available on the second floor and the charges are CHF 2 per locker. You can keep all your belongings safe in the locker so that you are able to explore the museum carefreely.