Daniel Spoerri archive

Daniel Spoerri (b. 1930) is internationally renowned as an outstanding exponent of Eat Art, Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus. In 1996 he donated his archive to the Prints and Drawings Department of the Swiss National Library (NL).

Daniel Spoerri
Daniel Spoerri with a «Tableau Piège», 1988
© Hans-Peter Siffert, Winterthur

Daniel Spoerri began documenting his life and work at an early stage. An avid collector, over the years he accumulated an archive of considerable size, containing archival materials of character and importance that paint a rounded portrait of Daniel Spoerri, his life and milieu.

The archive sheds light on the artist’s multifaceted oeuvre, from his early days as a dancer and director, through his actual artistic production and on to his other activities as author, publisher, teacher and exhibition curator. 

The archival materials also attest to the role that Daniel Spoerri played in the development of art both nationally and internationally in the second half of the 20th century: in 1959 he launched Edition MAT, making a key contribution to the creation of artistic “multiples”, while in 1960, along with Yves Klein, Arman, César, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle and others, he was a founder member of the Nouveaux Réalistes. The same year saw the creation of the first snare pictures (tableaux pièges) that made him internationally famous. Starting in the 1960s, Spoerri established himself as a food artist, and was the founder and most highly regarded exponent of Eat Art.

An extensive reference source for research into the international art scene, and in particular Eat Art, Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus, the archive of Daniel Spoerri enhances the coverage of contemporary art within the NL.

Content and scope

The Daniel Spoerri archive is a prime example of an archive documenting an artist. It includes:

  • Artistic works by Daniel Spoerri, in particular prints, editions and artists’ books
  • Documentation on literary works, artists’ books and editions
  • Documentation on stage works
  • Documents on object and action art (Eat Art), in particular banquets
  • Documentation on Daniel Spoerri’s exhibition and teaching activities, in particular exhibition concepts
  • Correspondence with leading artists and cultural institutions
  • Personal documents
  • Various collections, including a library, an art collection comprising stand-alone works from artist friends, extensive photographic documentation of his works, a poster collection and event documentation
  • Film and audio documents. 

The NL also houses Daniel Spoerri's "Bibliothek des Zufalls" (library of chance). This is a collection of 2,417 publications received in exchange for Spoerri's book "Heilrituale an bretonischen Quellen".

Collection principles

  • The aim is to compile the most complete possible archive collection on Daniel Spoerri.
  • The archive is continually expanded with current and future Daniel Spoerri documentation. 

Research and access

  • The Daniel Spoerri archive is described and catalogued in detail in the HelveticArchives database.
  • Audio documents belonging to the archive can be listened to on a “Protected material” PC on site at the NL.
  • The "Bibliothek des Zufalls" (library of chance) is described and catalogued in detail in the HelveticArchives database.
  • Further information on the Daniel Spoerri archive available on request
  • Consultation of originals: on site and by appointment

More on this topic

Last modification 09.04.2024

Top of page


Swiss National Library
Prints and Drawings Department
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 71

Print contact

Opening hours

by appointment