The history of the Kunstmuseum Basel goes back to 1671, when the city of Basel decided to make the Amerbach art collection accessible to the public, making it the oldest public art collection in the world.
The main building was designed by local architect Rudolf Christ together with Paul Bonatz from Stuttgart. Its construction started in 1931 and it was inaugurated in 1936. In 2008 the architectural competition for a new building (with entries by no less than 5 Pritzker Price laureates) was won by local architects Christ & Gantenbein. The Neubau is designed for special exhibitions and opened in 2016. It is connected to the main building through an underpass.