Magazine article Artforum International

Art of the Dealer. (News)

Magazine article Artforum International

Art of the Dealer. (News)

Article excerpt

"SKIS WITH VALENTINO, dines with Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor ... lives on the Concorde." Remember the roaring '80s, when Zurich-based art dealer deluxe Thomas Ammann trotted the globe, carting home the finest art of the day? The boldface credentials appeared in a Vanity Fair profile five years before Ammann's premature death in 1993. In the same article, fellow dealer Bruno Bischofberger appraised, "Certainly Thomas has become the top dealer of his generation, and he did it without a cent from his family." Where did the money come from? "Very few people knew," says Peter Fischer, curator of the Daros Collection, the Zurich institution that has just made public the huge trove Ammann assembled with his friend and chief backer, the late Alexander Schmidheiny of the Swiss industrial and banking family. The decision to unveil the collection was reached years ago by the latter's brother, businessman and philanthropist Stephan Schmidheiny, who wished not only to find a permanent venue in Zurich to display the work but also to continue collecting. To the Daros Collection, which focuses on art from the United States, he has added Daros Contemporary, which will support young local artists, and Daros Latin America. …

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