The Im Obersteg Collection

The exhibition examines the history and themes of the Im Obersteg collection of the museum in its broader context. The show inquires into the reception of Marc Chagall’s early oeuvre in Basel, the discovery of Chaïm Soutine in Paris, Alexej von Jawlensky’s difficult final years during the Second World War and the acquisition and sale of works by Picasso. Karl Im Obersteg (1883-1969) was a private collector of art, diplomat and entrepreneur. Selected loans will accentuate the key themes of the collection. Picasso’s monumental painting Arlequin assis (1923), for example, which was the Im Obersteg Collection’s pièce de résistance for many years, but was sold by the heir of the owner to pay the inheritance tax in 1969. This work is shown alongside its twin, the Basler Arlequin assis by Picasso (1923). It is for the first times in fifty years that the Arlequin is back in Basel.