Serge and Doris Stauffer archive

The Serge and Doris Stauffer archive is closely linked to other parts of the collection of the National Library’s (NL) Prints and Drawings Department, such as the archives of Daniel Spoerri, Karl Gerstner, Niklaus Stauss and Andreas Züst. Indeed the groundwork carried out by the Stauffers played a key role in the development of Spoerri and Gerstner’s work. The archive of Serge and Doris Stauffer is a valuable resource for research into the socio-cultural significance of the artistic movements of the 1960s and 1970s and the pioneering years of the women’s movement in Switzerland. 

Serge et Doris Stauffer, 1982, photo : Isabelle Wettstein. Bibliothèque nationale suisse, Cabinet des estampes, Archives Serge et Doris Stauffer
The artists Serge and Doris Stauffer in animated conversation
© Foto: Isabelle Wettstein

Serge Stauffer (1929–1989) became known for his German translations of the writings of Marcel Duchamp. From 1968 onwards he carried out pioneering work in the now institutionalised field of artistic research. He corresponded with Daniel Spoerri, Karl Gerstner, André Thomkins and Rudolf de Crignis, many of whose works are also held by the NL. He also exchanged numerous letters both with Marcel Duchamp and with Meret Oppenheim, whose literary estate is held by the Swiss Literary Archives at the NL.

Like her husband Serge, object and action artist and women’s liberation movement activist Doris Stauffer (1934–2017) was a co-founder and lecturer at the F+F (Farbe und Form) design school in Zurich. The couple thus exerted a defining political, social and artistic influence on a young generation of culture practitioners who are still successful today, such as Peter Fischli/David Weiss.

Content and scope

The Serge and Doris Stauffer archive is a quintessential artists’ archive. It contains:

  • Numerous personal documents referencing socio-cultural contexts
  • Significant parts of the couple’s artistic work including photobooks, photographic works, portraits, drafts and designs
  • Numerous manuscripts
  • A slide collection
  • Works by various students offering a wide-ranging insight into the teachings and history of the F+F design school in Zurich, which gained international renown with its unconventional teaching methods

Collection principles

  • The aim is to compile the most complete possible archive collection of the work of Serge and Doris Stauffer.
  • The archive is complemented by documents from the heirs of Serge and Doris Stauffer.

Research and access

  • The Serge and Doris Stauffer archive can be found in the HelveticArchives database.
  • Information about the Serge and Doris Stauffer archive is available on request.
  • Originals can be consulted on site (by appointment).

Last modification 05.11.2018

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