History of the Swiss Art Trading Association
The Swiss Art Trading Association (SATA) was founded in 1922. There were four founding members: Moderne Galerie (founded by Gottfried Tanner) in Zurich and Galerie Paul Vallotton in Lausanne, two important promoters of Swiss and French modern art; and Gutekunst und Klipstein (now Galerie Kornfeld) in Bern and Art Ancien in Zurich, who both specialised in Modern Art and Old Master paintings. Gottfried Tanner of Galerie Tanner was the first President, leading the Association for thirty years from 1923-1953 before Willi Raeber from Basel took over from 1953-1959. In 1959 Eberhard Kornfeld became President and Peter Nathan Vice President, each holding tenure for 37 years until 1996. In 1982 the Swiss Art Trading Association joined CINOA, the principal international federation of art and antique market professionals, with Walter Feilchenfeldt as delegate, representing the Swiss organisation within CINOA for over twenty years. Feilchenfeldt also served as President of the Swiss Art Trading Association from 1997 until 2007 and Doris Ammann as Vice President. From 2008 until 2021 Claudius Ochsner served as President, with Doris Ammann continuing to serve as Vice President until her death in March 2021. The current President, Thomas Stauffer, and Vice President, Larkin Erdmann, began their respective tenures in 2021.
Members of the Swiss Art Trading Association deal in paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and rare books, mainly of the 20th Century but also extending to the contemporary and emerging periods.
Particularly notable members of the Swiss Art Trading Association include Dr. h.c. Angela Rosengart, Dr. h.c. Eberhard W. Kornfeld, Walter Feilchenfeldt and the late Dr. h.c. Ernst Beyeler. In addition to running successful art businesses, these members have contributed a great deal to Swiss cultural life.
One of the main objectives of SATA is to promote and protect the good name and interests of the Swiss art trade and to foster public confidence in the responsible dealing of fine art. A rigorous member selection as well as a strict code of conduct ensure a member base of significant international standing whose knowledge, reliability, and judgement can be trusted.
SATA represents the interests of its members in political, legal, and cultural discussions on current issues concerning the art trade and endeavours to make its members’ wishes and concerns known to the authorities.
In addition, SATA notifies and informs its members of relevant national and international news, regulations and statutes which affect the art market and the art trade.
To be considered for membership of the Swiss Art Trading Association a dealer must have been in business for at least five years and have a reputation for honesty and integrity as well as expert knowledge of the artists or periods in which they specialise.
Membership applications are carefully assessed by the board to ensure that all members meet the highest standards of integrity, expertise, and quality of stock. Applications meeting these criteria are put to a majority vote in which all pre-existing members participate.
Kunsthandelsverband der Schweiz
c/o Larkin Erdmann Gallery
+41 76 395 99 95
Thomas Stauffer, President
Thomas Stauffer, Partner at leading private art dealership and art advisory firm Gerber & Stauffer Fine Arts, has been a passionate collector of art since his teenage years. With a keen eye for anticipating lasting market developments in 20th and 21st century art and an excellent network of contacts worldwide, Stauffer has made a name for himself internationally for sourcing important artworks off-market from within private collections. Thomas Stauffer holds degrees in Economics and human Resource Management as well as a post-graduate degree in Arts and Cultural Management. He advises Swiss banks on art investments. Stauffer has been the President of the Swiss Art Trading Association since 2021.
Larkin Erdmann, Vice President
Larkin Erdmann established his eponymous business Larkin Erdmann Gallery in 2014, and the gallery has gradually expanded its team and outreach since. The gallery, located just by the Kunsthaus Zurich, is focused on twenty predominantly Post-War artists, working closing closely with the respective artist’s foundations, estates and families. Larkin Erdmann Gallery participates in art fairs annually, including Art Geneva, NOMAD St. Moritz, The Armory Show, Frieze Masters and Art Basel Miami Beach.
Larkin Erdmann studied Art History at the University of Zurich, and has previously worked at Phillips the Auctioneers in London and Galleria Massimo de Carlo in London. Larkin Erdmann has been the Vice President of the Swiss Art Trading Association since 2021. Erdmann also serves on the board of the Fondation ARPE, the Hans Hinterreiter Stiftung and the Kunstforum Zürich.