Schmidt Reconfirmed as Uffizi Director

Eike Schmidt

Close to a October 31 contract expiration, Eike Schmidt will remain the director of the Uffizi Galleries for until 2023 thanks to an administrative order signed by Dario Franceschini, Minister of Culture and Tourism. At the beginning of October, Schmidt went on record to turn down a new position that he had previously accepted as director of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum.

“I am enthusiastic that I will be able to continue to work for the Uffizi and for Florence, that I will be able to continue my commitment to making the Uffizi the most beautiful museum in the world…even if it is already.  The first first four years on the job have been incredible, full of surprises and objectives to achieve.”

Franceschini noted that creating an independent museum system has been a positive step forward for Italy: for example, the Uffizi registered a 6% increase in the number of visitors between 2014 and 2018; in Milano the Brera Art Gallery, headed by James Bradburne (who headed Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi Foundation from 2006 to 2015) saw a 40% increase in paying guests.  Bradburne has also been reconfirmed by Franceschini for a second term.  Before his current position, Schmidt was a curator in the sculpture and decorative arts department of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles (2006-8), a director of European sculpture and applied arts at the Sotheby’s auction house in London (2008-9), and the director of the sculpture, applied arts and textiles department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2008-15).  He earned a degree in medieval and modern in 1994 at the University of Heidelberg, followed by a period of study as a research fellow at Florence’s Deutsches Kunstshistorisches (1994-2001).

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.