The muesum doesn't show the collection in a permanent exhibition.
The Kunstmuseum Thun has a wide collection of artworks, which comprise a basic stock from the municipal collection as well as private donations. The emphasis is on Swiss pop art, landscapes, graphic works as well as works of regional artists. Representative stocks of Swiss Kleinmeistern (minor masters) (such as Lory, Aberli, Lafond or Wocher), works by Swiss artists from the 19th and 20th century (such as Ferdinand Hodler, Cuno Amiet, Paul Klee and Meret Oppenheim) as well as works of contemporary artists (such as Yann Gross, Balthasar Burkard, Karim Noureldin, Claudio Moser, and George Steinmann) are in the collection. Parts of the collection are annually embedded in different contexts and exhibited in a dialogue with contemporary creations. The in-house collection is not shown permanently. It meanwhile contains approximately 7000 works and remains most of the time in the depot, which is a secret, inaccessible place.
Besides annual purchases, our collection is complemented by donations and inheritances, which now comprise more than half of the stock. The largest work in the collection is the Panorama von Thun (1809–1814), a cyclorama by Marquard Wocher (1760–1830), which can be seen in the Thun-Panorama. This is the world’s oldest surviving cyclorama and has a surface area of 285square metres. The tiniest work in the collection, Kopfstudien (o. D.) by Stefano della Bella (1610–1664), is 187,500 times smaller and measures just 1.9 x 8 cm.
There are guidelines to regulate what should be collected. Contrary to what occurred at the beginning, the collection is now controlled by stricter concepts, for instance, the artists need to have a local or national background. However, around 45% of our artists are not Swiss. This is due to the large group of works that came into the collection as basic stock. In the Lohner collection for instance, there are many works from Italy, France or the Netherlands. Even today there a few exceptions, as in 2011, a lithography by Belgian Hans op de Beeck came to us as a donation on the occasion of his exhibition in the museum.