Participants of the Verbier Art Summit range from international private and corporate collectors, to museum directors, artists, curators, art historians, art critics, gallerists, and art consultants. While some of the programme is by invitation only, the general public is invited to attend the talks programme and other cultural events for free.
When you arrive at the Verbier Art Summit, you will have just climbed 1500 meters in altitude and with each turn winding higher up the mountain, you gain kilometres in visibility, and the distance between you and your everyday life becomes greater and greater…
This is exactly what happened when the Founder of the Verbier Art Summit, Anneliek Sijbrandij, moved from London to Verbier in the winter of 2013. Anneliek started dreaming about an annual art event in this beautiful, intimate - almost hidden - site where meaningful dialogue can take place. An event in a non-transactional context, where thought leaders would be connected to key figures in the art world, focussing on annually changing themes, generating new visions and initiatives with each edition.
One of these leading figures in the art world, Beatrix Ruf, believed in the concept and an exciting exchange of long conversations started in the summer of 2014. The ideas continued to develop among the Founding Members and Board of Advisors in the winters of 2015 and 2016. By January 2017 we were ready: museum director Beatrix Ruf proposed for each Verbier Art Summit to be curated by a leading museum director, who will identify a theme of their focus for a conference and book. Together with the curatorial team at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, she co-designed the format of the inaugural Verbier Art Summit, and our first group of innovative thinkers came to Verbier to debate SIZE MATTERS! (DE) GROWTH OF THE 21ST CENTURY ART MUSEUM.
The accompanying book launch in September 2017 proved another important step in the quest for impact on a global scale. The acclaimed bookmaker Irma Boom and renowned art publisher Franz König took care of the design and distribution to museum bookshops all over the world. A second successful Summit edition in partnership with leading museum director Daniel Birnbaum on MORE THAN REAL. ART IN THE DIGITAL AGE. ensured the Verbier Art Summit became a fixed date on the global art calendar.
The Summit believes in the power of bringing innovators together with influential art thinkers. Together, an annual task force is created where new visions and initiatives are born that will make a positive change and build global solidarity. At the same time, the Summit educates, provokes and inspires the wider community by opening up the talks programme to the public for free, by live-broadcasting and sharing the talks online, and by producing an affordable publication through which the debate can continue.