Cartoonmuseum Basel

Hans Geisen



From 1967 until his death in 1992, Hans Geisen (Gei) commented on world events as an in-house caricaturist for the Basel newspaper “National-Zeitung”, and later for its successor “Basler Zeitung”, with one pithy drawing each day. His aloof ironic view of international political developments was a part of Basler Zeitung’s identity that was appreciated far beyond the boundaries of Basel. His fine drawings with the little black raven encompassed all the themes and protagonists of the major upheavals in the second half of the 20th century: the severity of the Cold War and the cracks in the Iron Curtain, the USA’s debacle in Vietnam, the conflicts in the Middle East and the Gulf, the Europeans’ struggle for unity, and social change in Switzerland. Many newspaper readers would deliberately open their paper at the page where Geisen adeptly unmasked the powerful and approached events, even tragic ones, with humour. Born in Koblenz (G) in 1919, Geisen was captured by the Americans while serving as a soldier in France. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, he was able to return from the USA to Germany, where he published his first caricatures in 1957. Geisen and his family moved to Basel in 1967 – and stayed there. Two years ago, Geisen’s son Johann Wolfgang donated his father’s estate to Cartoonmuseum Basel. This included over 8000 drawings and pictures, as well as diaries and photographs. Today, having processed this material, Cartoonmuseum Basel is now able to offer in-depth insight into the oeuvre of Basel’s most famous caricaturist in the exhibition “Worldviews”. 
Opening: Friday, march 23th, 2018, 6.30 pm
Curators: Willi Herzig, Alessia Conidi