Schmidt, Ex-Uffizi Director, Runs for Mayor

Eike Schmidt

Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery from 2014 until the beginning of 2024 and currently the director of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, has formally announced his candidacy in the election for mayor in Florence, scheduled on June 8 and 9.  Schmidt, who became an Italian citizen in 2024, is a dual national and a native of Germany.  In a press conference, he noted that he threw his hat in the ring on what is believed to be the anniversary of the birthdate of Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio): April 6, which is also the date of death of the Renaissance artists.

Schmidt, who will take a leave of absence from his job in Naples, is planning to run as a candidate for the coalition of parties on the right.  During his career at the Uffizi, he was responsible for creating a logo and website for the museum in addition to introducing a tier of seasonal admission prices and launching the renovation of the historic Vasari Corridor atop Ponte Vecchio which connects the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace.  At times, he was openly critical of the policies of the present mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella.

A former resident of the U.S., he was director of the sculpture and applied arts section of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; from 2006 to 2008, he was a curator in the department of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. Prior, Schmidt was the director of the European sculpture and applied arts department of Sotheby’s in London, following a position as curator at Washington’s National Gallery.

From 1994 to 2001, Schmidt was a research fellow at the Florence’s prestigious Deutsches Kunsthistorisches Institut.  He earned a degree in medieval and modern art at the University of Heidelberg, with a thesis on the “Ivory Sculptures in 15th and 16th Century Medici Collections.”