«animalistic! One Theme – Four Exhibitions»

We inject ourselves with animal hormones, play drums covered with animal skin, stroke our beloved cats, and (maybe) even risk listening to sirens. The benefit is evident: skin, fat, bones, intestines are processed into violin strings, glue, ointments, and jackets. From antiquity to the present day, animals and hybrid creatures have provided guidance and protected us in the shape of amulets. Creatures like Lassie, Baloo and Bagheera from The Jungle Book, or melodious nightingales provide for entertainment.

But how has the relationship between humans and animals changed, here and elsewhere? What are the strengths and abilities attributed to animals? How do they communicate, among themselves and with us humans? What perceptions and criteria determine the relationship between humans and animals? Why is this relationship almost invariably described as ambivalent? Four Basel museums go in search of answers in the joint project «animalistic! One Theme — Four Exhibitions» and the accompanying publication.

Publication online-shop EN

Publication online-shop DE

Published by
Museum of Cultures Basel, Anna Schmid
Museum of Antiquities Basel & Ludwig Collection, Andrea Bignasca
Basel Historical Museum, Marc Zehntner
Pharmacy Museum University of Basel, Philippe Wanner

With contributions by
Laurent Gorgerat, Mathias Gredig, Stephanie Lovász, Isabel Münzner, Barbara Orland, Ursula Regehr, Anna Schmid, Hans Bjarne Thomsen, Beatrice Voirol, Markus Wild


Freiwilliger Museumsverein Basel
Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft
Josef Anton Häfliger-Stiftung