Galerie Jacques Benador

Located in Geneva, Switzerland, the Galerie Benador (1928-2010) engaged in the promotion of European avant-garde art, concentrating on surrealism and abstract art.

The Galerie Jacques Benador archive, which spans 1932-2015, contains writings, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, printed material, artworks, and other papers related to Jacques Benador, the D. Benador Gallery, and the Jacques Benador Gallery.

Jacques Benador’s personal papers—which include a large number of photographs--make up the bulk of the collection, documenting Benador’s personal and professional relationships with artists and critics of the postwar European avant-garde, as well as events at both galleries he oversaw.

Items of note in the collection include multiple manuscript versions of Lucio Fontana’s first Spatialist Manifesto, signed first editions of Fontana’s Manifesto Bianco in Italian and Spanish, original artwork by Pierre Alechinsky, Hans Bellmer, Max Ernst, Pierre Tal-Coat, Bram van de Velde, Georg Baselitz and others.

Holdings at the Beinecke

The Trajectory of Galerie Benador

In 1928, David Benador (1893-1974) and his brother Charles (1896-1943) founded the Galerie D. Benador in Geneva, Switzerland. The gallery specialized in works by old masters, Impressionists, 19th century Barbizon and Swiss school.

In 1943, David's son, Jacques Benador (1923-2010), assumed leadership of the gallery and introduced Modern and Contemporary art to the gallery’s repertoire. Jacques Benador cultivated relationships with contemporary artists—particularly ones involved with surrealism and abstract art.

Jacques, who had a special interest in illustrated books both as a noted publisher and as a collector, also oversaw the production of exhibition catalogs (which were designed to be held in one’s hand) that often included a specially prepared text, written by well-known authors; some catalogs also included an original print (or a poster) designed by artists for the first fifty copies of the publishing run.

In 1973, Jacques opened his own gallery located in the old city of Geneva under the name "Galerie Jacques Benador". After the passing of David Benador, Jacques Benador—along with his wife, Stella--supervised and directed Galerie D. Benador for several years.


The Galerie Jacques Benador closed its doors in 2010.

Max Ernst, Untitled, 1964

Max Ernst, Untitled, 1964

Pierre Tal-Coat, undated
unidentified artwork, undated
Letter from Ninon Hesse, 1962
Letter from Ninon Hesse, verso
Bram van Velde
Bram van Velde
Bram van Velde
La folie du jour, 1973
La folie du jour
La folie du jour
Illustration from La folie du jour
Max Ernst, undated
Letter from Max Ernst, 1965