Seefeldquai 17 8008 Zurich, Switzerland +41 (0) 44 388 61 90 Tuesday 4pm-9pm, Saturday/Sunday 11am-5pm
CHF 7 (free admission under age 26)


The Johann Jacobs Museum develops exhibitions to find something out. We want to take a fresh look at the history and present of our world. Rather than emphasize differences between nations, eras and cultures or cementing identities, we focus on understanding and shedding light on the complexities of global interdependence. They show in the ambiguity of human interaction and the open-ended significance not only of artworks, but of most of the objects we handle. Our method is the “migration of form”: We work with academics, artists and other experts of our transcultural everyday life such as schoolchildren, for example, to follow the movement of things across the globe and through time.

Raw Materials

What is human history about if not the distribution of scarce resources?

Area of Research

A Museum of the Present

How do museums deal with the fact that our global present consists of complex, centuries-old interdependencies?

Area of Research

Shipping Routes

What's life like at sea, in the “forgotten space” of the modern age?

Area of Research

New Africa

“Africa does not have to tag behind anyone. Above all, it has no reason to follow the paths prescribed by others.”

Area of Research

Artistic Research

On the independent existence of historical facts and speculation along the gray area between poetry and truth.

Area of Research

The Topicality of Chinese Antiquity

What role has China’s traditional, deeply feudally-impacted art and culture played in the radical modernization process the country has been undergoing since the 1980s?

Area of Research

Global Switzerland

On the history and present-day global interdependence of a supposedly self-sufficient state.

Area of Research

Tropical Modernity

Modernity is a global co-production that touched almost every corner of the world, and continues to do so today.

Area of Research

Meiji and later

What contradictions and conflicts lie concealed beneath the shining cloak of Japanese aesthetics?

Area of Research

Forms of showing

On exhibitions as a way of brushing patterns of perception against the grain.

Area of Research


A Ship Will Not Come

14 Nov 2019 - 5 May 2020


Public Tours every first Sunday of the month at 2 pm
11 Dec 2019 7:00 pm

Theme Night

Storytelling: Stories from the Sea

With Sophie Mauch
Departing from the stories written by ships in the exhibition we'll explore the world on the water, on different kinds of floating constructions, and see what inspiration we find to tell stories of our own. (EN)
15 Dec 2019 3:00 pm

Children's Event

Story Journey to the Sea

For children (between 5 and 10 years old)
Stories we hear en route are inspired by the adventures of the Swiss merchant navy and other things from the exhibition. (GE)
Book Now
24 Dec 2019
Christmas Eve
31 Dec 2019
New Year's Eve
12 Jan 2020 3:00 pm

Theme Afternoon

Senegal and How it Became What it Is

With Mamadou Diallo and Roger M. Buergel
On colonial and postcolonial realities in Africa today. (FR / GE)
2 Feb 2020 3:00 pm

Theme Afternoon

Film Installations in Contemporary Art

With Bettina Schuler and Roger M. Buergel
On the reasons why the best part of cinema has found its home in the museum. (GE)
Events are included in the general museum admission ticket if not otherwise stated.