Urs Stahel was born in 1953 in Zurich.
He holds a Masters degree in German Linguistics and Literature, general History and Philosophy. Between 1982-1992 he was a freelance curator and art critic, and editor of art magazine du and lecturer in history of art and photography at the School of Art and Design in Zurich.
Since 1993, he is the Director of the Fotomuseum Winterthur. He is the curator, editor and author of numerous exhibitions and publications.