See the World’s Most Secretive Art Collection
The Bilderberg Group is showing off its art for the first time.
The über-secretive Bilderberg Collection will go on view for the first time later this month as part of St. Moritz Art Masters, an annual alpine art walk through the Engadin Valley. The collection was founded in 1984 by core members of the Bilderberg Group, one of the world’s most shadowy organizations, comprising heads of state and leaders in business and education.
Sourced from group members’ own private collections, the Bilderberg Collection now contains more than 1,000 artworks, according to Christoph Steinmeyer, who has served as the collection’s curator for the past three years. Now, he has selected 30 works from eight decades to go on view in Samedan’s Museum Chesa Planta.
Founded in 1954 and named for the hotel in which the first of its annual conferences was held, the Bilderberg Group’s influence on world affairs and business has, in recent years, been estimated to exceed that of the G8 and other meetings of politicians and Masters of the Universe such as the annual Davos summit. How? In contrast to the media frenzy that surrounds most other high-level international summits, Bilderberg permits practically no press coverage—although chief editors of influential publications have been known to attend—and releases only an annual list of attendees. No minutes are kept and no official resolutions are made.
The members of the steering committee, who also created the group’s art collection, remain secret. However, the annual list of attendees gives a taste of its potential makeup. For example, attendees to the 2014 meeting included: former NSA director Keith Alexander, Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, former National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, BP chief executive Robert Dudley, Henry Kissinger, IMF director Christine Lagarde, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, former CIA director David Petraeus, NATO Secretary General Anders Fohn Rasmussen, SIS chief John Sawers, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, the Queen of Spain, Larry Summers, and Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland.
But what about the art itself? Like Bilderberg Conference members, the names of the artists within the collection are kept secret—both are managed in accordance to the Chatham House Rule. A quick perusal of images leaked of some of the works coming on view, starting August 21st, reveals a few that look to be the work of household names like Andreas Gursky, George Grosz, and August Wilhelm Dressler. See if you can pick out the others in the slideshow, above.
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.