The holdings of the Daros Collection go back to the collecting activities of Thomas Ammann and Alexander Schmidheiny. The dedicated art dealer and the passionate art lover had been friends since their youth. In the 1980s, they began to build a collection.
Thanks to Thomas Amman’s excellent connections in the art world and his sense for quality, outstanding groups of works by leading artists of the second half of the twentieth century could be acquired, most notably Andy Warhol with hand painted works from the early 1960s and the first silkscreens, Cy Twombly with paintings and sculptures covering the whole span of his carreer, or Brice Marden with a representative group of works. The untimely death of both Thomas Ammann and Alexander Schmidheiny brought the ambitious project to a halt. Stephan Schmidheiny continued the project and subsequently handed the collection over to Daros to ensure its ongoing development and make it accessible to the public in the form of exhibitions and loans. The different holdings of the collection were evaluated. Certain works were sold, while pieces by further artists have been acquired. Acquisitions include major works by Gerhard Richter, Willem de Kooning, Agnes Martin, Mark Rothko, Thomas Schütte and Christopher Wool. From 2001 until 2008, parts of the Daros Collection were presented in the premises of Daros Exhibitions. Since 2010 works from the Daros Collection can be viewed in the permanent collection at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen.