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Daniel Schmid: “Working with young artists can help us better understand our own time”

The Julius Baer Art Collection encompasses over 5,000 works spanning a wide array of media. Sculptures, paintings, videos, and photography are displayed at Julius Baer locations around the globe for employees and visitors alike to enjoy.

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While many people have heard of the Collection, few realise that the Art Committee responsible for selecting new works for the Collection is made up of five Julius Baer staff members, in addition to curator Barbara Staubli and external expert Giovanni Carmine. And although they have varying professional backgrounds and motivations for joining, the members of the committee are linked by their common interest in the visual arts. With such a diverse group there are always several different perspectives to consider which results in a number of colourful debates on the best new pieces to add to the Collection.

Daniel Schmid has been working for the Art Collection since 1990 and has been a member of the Art Committee since 2001. When he isn’t running multiple exhibitions or installing various works of art at one of our branches across Switzerland and Europe, Daniel works closely with other committee members to ensure the Collection represents the diverse and innovative array of styles present in today’s art scene.

Daniel grew up in Zurich, Switzerland and currently lives in Dübendorf. He completed an apprenticeship in shop design and attended the School of Design in Zurich. At the age of 23, he moved to Sicily for work to further enhance his knowledge in shop design and marketing, and eventually settled back in Zurich. Over the years he has established a vast network within the Swiss art community, which garnered the attention of the Julius Baer Art Committee, who approached him about working at the Collection for a day. This day extended to months and years and Daniel continues to hold this position to this day. After curating a successful exhibition for Julius Baer at the Helmhaus Zurich, Daniel was invited to become a member of the Art Committee.

I enjoy most artistic styles all the way back to the old masters. Art reflects the time and culture that surrounds it.

Having joined the Art Committee in its early days, Daniel has witnessed the growth and evolution of the Collection over the years: “When I first began Julius Bear was a family business. It has been interesting to watch the Collection grow along with the company.” Established in 1981 by Hans J. Baer, the Collection was inspired by his belief that art in the workplace presents a wonderful starting point for conversation, and Daniel agrees: “Art appeals differently to each of us and I see this on a daily basis – people sharing their perspective about a certain work and learning from one another.”

When it comes to acquiring new works for the Collection, Daniel keeps an open mind and encourages fellow committee members to do the same. “I enjoy most artistic styles all the way back to the old masters. Art reflects the time and culture that surrounds it. For this reason, I believe working with young artists can help us better understand our own time.” He returns from galleries and exhibitions having encountered potential works for the Collection and shares his perspectives with fellow committee members.

Passionate about the arts in general, Daniel is also active in his local art scene. He is a member of the Dübendorf Art Commission and Obere Mühle Dübendorf, a cultural centre that features musicians, artists, authors, and the like. “It’s a very unique environment – artists continually pushing the boundaries of their creativity.” He plans to continue immersing himself in the contemporary art scene to bring inspiring new ideas to his colleagues and ultimately, the Collection.