26 Apr 2020

The Kunstmuseum Basel’s collections comprise ca. 4,000 paintings, sculptures, videos, and works of installation art, as well as the ca. 300,000 drawings and prints from seven centuries held by the Kupferstichkabinett. And around 200 people work at the Kunstmuseum Basel in a wide variety of professions - full-time, part-time, on an hourly basis. Some of them present their favourite works from the collection here.

1. Name and role at the Kunstmuseum Basel
Werner Müller, Head of Art Care and executive member .

2. Job description
The Art Care team consists of the registrars, art handling, restorers and scientific photography. We take care of all physical, logistical and restoration issues concerning our collections. Together we are committed to preventing damage at the highest level. We realize collection and exhibition projects, install, pack and deposit works of art. We conserve, restore, research and document with the highest respect for each individual work of art and want to accompany our collection into the next generation as unscathed and unchanged as possible.

3. My favourite
Back of Georges Braque's Violon et verre, 1912-1914

4. Why?
This picture of a reverse side of a painting shows the complex, fragile and exciting materiality behind many great works of art. In our work, we deal intensively with art technological questions and search for answers. We search with the microscope, using infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray radiation to better answer some exciting questions. This photo symbolizes for me the privilege and beauty of my profession. It illustrates the infinitely exciting task and great responsibility we are allowed to perform. It may sound pathetic, but I am fascinated by the untouched and fragile nature of this painting and it stands for my ethical mission as a restorer to protect this beauty in its untouched state from damage and wrong interventions, together with my team.

Credit: Georges Braque, Violon et verre, 1912-1914, oil and coal on canvas, 115.5 x 80.8 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, donation Dr. h.c. Raoul La Roche 1952