Blockbuster Edward Hopper show is relaunched as Swiss museums come out of ‘recent slumber’

A visitor at the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, before the lockdown © Photo: Mark Niedermann

The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, just outside Basel, says that its “recent slumber” is over as it reopens its doors for the first time today since closing 14 March in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The move follows the Swiss governmental Federal Councils decision to ease coronavirus measures, with both large and small-scale museums in Switzerland permitted to re-open from 11 May.

Unlike other major museums worldwide that cannot extend their shows due to binding loan arrangements, the institution says its Edward Hopper exhibition “is being extended in its entirety until July 26, thanks to the generous consent of our cooperation partners, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the other American lenders to the show”. All tickets must be bought online and “distance markings” throughout the gallery should ensure “optimal visitor flow”, according to a statement from the museum.

The Kunstmuseum in Bern will open its doors from 12 May; its exhibition of works by El Anatsui, co-organised by the late curator Okwui Enwezor, was scheduled to close 21 June but has since been extended to the autumn.

Another Bern-based institution, the Bernisches Historisches Museum, is also due to reopen 12 May. Its curators are building a collection of “corona mementoes”, inviting people to send photographs and videos of their experience during lockdown. A statement on the museum website asks: “What objects and stories should the museum display in 2050 so that people will understand what life was like for the citizens of Bern in 2020 during the coronavirus crisis?”

The Kunsthaus Zürich is due to reopen 15 May, and its exhibition programme has subsequently been re-scheduled: Ottilia Giacometti: a Portrait, dedicated to the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacomettis sister, is extended until 19 July, while Smoke and Mirrors: the Roaring Twenties now begins on 3 July and ends on 11 October.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has partly reopened its four museums in Seoul, Gwacheon, DeokRead More – Source