A Passion for Art

A Passion for Art

Interviews by Christophe Mory

A Passion for Art tells Ernst Beyeler’s unusually personal story, shedding light on his career as an art dealer and gallery owner and his encounters with artists such as Picasso, Giacometti, and Bacon.



Title Information

Ernst Beyeler. Foreword by Sam Keller

1st edition

, 2011


204 pages, 24 color and 36 b/w illustrations

14 x 21.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-727-3

In cooperation with Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel


Ernst Beyeler (1921–2010) was an eminent figure of the international art scene in the twentieth century. Born in Basel, Switzerland, he began his career as an apprentice in an antiquarian bookstore, eventually taking over the business and shifting his focus from books to dealing and collecting art. Through his discerning eye for art, his close relationships with many of the twentieth century’s great artists, and his role in the foundation of Art Basel, the world’s largest art fair, Beyeler transformed his hometown into a hub for international art.

Published in English for the first time, A Passion for Art tells Beyeler’s unusually personal story, through interviews with journalist and author Christophe Mory. Beyeler describes the evolution of his career and his encounters with artists such as Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, and Francis Bacon. He also speaks in detail about his own collection, which focuses mainly on twentieth-century artists like Matisse, Mondrian, Klee, and Dubuffet. This art collection is the basis for the Fondation Beyeler, a museum designed by Renzo Piano that houses over 150 pieces of art handpicked by Beyeler.

Offering deep insight into the contemporary art trade and presenting an intimate portrait of Beyeler himself, A Passion for Art provides a new and distinctive perspective on the postwar European art world.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Ernst Beyeler

Christophe Mory