AboutOur History

1970s

Basel gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt create an international art fair that proves to be a success from the start. More than 16,000 visitors attend the inaugural show to see 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 countries. Photo: Kurt Wyss.


1980s

To celebrate 150 years of photography, 16 galleries from the International Association of Photography Art Dealers present photographs spanning the entire history of the medium. Five thematic art photography exhibitions follow, making Art Basel one of the artworld’s leading platforms for promoting the medium. Photo: Kurt Wyss.


1990s

The Art Film sector – devoted to films by and about artists – debuts at the Stadtkino Basel.


2000s

Introduction of the Art Unlimited platform, which transcends the concept of the classic exhibition booth with an open-plan environment that hosts all types of ambitious contemporary media. Art Basel debuts in Miami Beach. The first edition features 160 galleries from 23 countries and attracts 30,000 visitors. Art Basel launches Art Basel Conversations. Panel discussions with leading members of the art world provide access to first-hand information on diverse aspects of collecting and exhibiting art. Panelists include prominent art collectors, museum directors, biennale curators, artists, art critics, and architects.


2010s

Art Basel presents its inaugural show in Hong Kong and attracts over 60,000 visitors.
In September 2014, Art Basel launches its Crowdfunding Initiative in partnership with Kickstarter to support non-profit visual arts organizations.
During the 2015 Art Basel in Hong Kong show, Art Basel and BMW present the first iteration of the BMW Art Journey, a joint initiative to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide.

The Art Basel Cities initiative is announced during the 2016 Hong Kong edition of Art Basel in March. The initiative's aim is to develop bespoke cultural offerings with a partner city. In September of that year, Buenos Aires is announced as the first partner city.Art Basel and UBS commission a new annual art market report by Dr. Clare McAndrew. The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report covers main macro-economic trends and offers fundamental insights on the art market. The report was published in 2017.