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The Kunstmuseum Thun presents mainly contemporary art in four to five alternating exhibitions every year. In addition to thematically and monographically focused exhibitions, a collection exhibition is organised every year, which presents a part of the rich pool of artworks under a particular perspective. Art education has a permanent place in the museum: a broad portfolio overarching generations supports in the decoding of the language of art and leaves room for own interpretations.

“One must now have the courage to create something wholesome and definitive,” wrote the Thun artist Alfred Glaus (1890 to 1971) in 1946 to the council of Thun, pleading for the establishment of an art museum. At that time, Thun already possessed a small art collection, which was not open to the public. The contemplation of works of art, said Glaus, had a fruitful influence on the mental attitude of the populationGlaus’ commitment had an impact. In the autumn of 1948 a museum was opened in four rooms of the Thunerhof under the name, The Art Collection of the City of Thun. Glaus himself was appointed the director of the museum. More rooms were added to the four rooms on the ground floor in the 1950s. In 2003/04 the museum premises, which now spread over nearly 1,000 square metres, was completely renovated. The collection itself functioned as a museum in the early days, but exhibitions came to be organised at certain times only in due course. Ultimately, around 1984, the art collection was renamed as “Kunstmuseum Thun”.

Today, the Kunstmuseum Thun presents four to five large alternating exhibitions. The focus is on the creation of contemporary art. The presentation of current positions and diverse, international and national trends have established the museum well beyond the region. Every year the collection is made available to the public as part of thematic exhibitions. The compilation of works are always rearranged and rediscovered. What takes place is a dialogue between the art of the past and contemporary art. Contemporary works are traced back to their historical roots.

Another window is provided by the project room enter. Beside the main exhibitions, smaller projects are implemented and exhibited here. They are mainly artistic experiments or insights into current research approaches. These projects are often developed in collaboration with universities or social organisations.

Using a multifaceted range of intermediation, art is brought closer to an interested audience.

As part of the exhibitions, workshops are offered especially for children, and specially designed tours for adults, even with sign language interpreters. The art museum is also a place for engagement and impetus: talks, discussions and lectures on works complement the exhibition programme.

KMT_Ausstellungsräume_Exhibition rooms.pdf


Alfred Glaus (1948-1954)
Paul L. Ganz (1954-1975)
Georg J. Dolézal (1975-1999)
Madeleine Schuppli (2000-2007)
Helen Hirsch (since 2007)


The following guidelines are meant for the orientation of our supporters, our partners and the audience.

Who we are

We are a cultural institution of the City of Thun with two locations of different character. Our programmes have experimental formats and we see ourselves as a hub for cultural encounters for town and region.

  • The Kunstmuseum Thun in Thunerhof, a former grand hotel on the banks of the Aare, shows three to four large exhibitions per year and tries out additional formats in the project room enter.
  • The ThunPanorama in Schadaupark is home to the world’s oldest preserved cyclorama. It depicts the City of Thun 200 years ago. In the annex building seasonally changing exhibitions are shown.

What we do

We create spaces for interdisciplinary examination around art and culture.

  • The point of departure is a collection with originals and a focus on the region and Switzerland, which we retain as cultural assets. The most important work is the Panorama of Thun and its surroundings (1814) by Marquard Wocher.
  • Art and culture professionals from at home and abroad provide new impetus and inspire to build bridges to contemporary art.
  • We create a dialoguebased access to art and culture for the general public. Interdisciplinary and participative projects are carried out on a regular basis.

These are our values

We want to open our spaces for encounters between all people and art.

  • We are peculiar: art and culture are deepened and cultivated from various points of view. Inclusive culture is lived through the multisensory principle.
  • Our users are meant to reflect the varied composition of our society. We address a wide range of target groups and want to stay in dialogue with them and link them to our institution.
  • We create networks, so that art and culture play a role in the life of many different people.
  • What we do is accompanied by reflection, scrutiny and discarding.

How we work

Our strength is the combination of various pillars as a resource.

  • The City of Thun, the Canton of Bern and municipalities in the region safeguard basic funding and thereby continuity.
  • Thirdparty funds by foundations, sponsors and other sources enable quality, special and experimental aspects.
  • We continuously expand our competencies through a temporal extension of our team and / or further trainings.
  • We successfully execute our projects, as we search for and maintain partners. Collaborations ensure a change of perspectives, absorption and wide networking.