TEFAF Maastricht Moves In On The New York Art Market

TEFAF fairs, considered to be the leading art and antiques fairs in the world, will launch an unprecedented showcase in New York for high end art dealers from around the world. New York is already a saturated market with the tried and tested Armory Week along with newcomers the Frieze Art Fair. 

Presented annually in Maastricht, Netherlands, through a joint venture with New York based Artvest, it will be launching two TEFAF art fairs that will be presented annually in New York at the Park Avenue Armory.  Building on TEFAF Maastricht’s 30 years of success and experience in bringing together the best objects for sale from 7,000 years of art history by expert dealers from around the globe and an unsurpassed reputation for vetting, these two TEFAF fairs will allow the leading art dealers of the world and collectors to meet under one roof in a prominent location in New York at the time that is most relevant to them. The first fair, TEFAF | New York | Fall, will premiere in October 2016 (22-27 October 2016, opening night on Friday 21 October) and focus on art from antiquity to the 20th Century. The second fair, TEFAF | New York | Spring, will premiere in May 2017 (4-9 May 2017, opening night on 3 May) with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art and design.

Their exhibitions will flow throughout the Armory’s landmark building encompassing the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and extending to both the ground and first floors of the Armory’s period rooms, creating two fairs of unprecedented depth and impact in New York City. Together the fairs will be able to support around 170 dealer presentations. Participating dealers in TEFAF fairs are welcomed only after a rigorous application and approval process. The selection criteria will be published when the application procedure opens at the end of this month (February) for the first TEFAF | New York | Fall fair taking place in October 2016, and in June for the first TEFAF | New York | Spring fair taking place in May 2017. It is anticipated that each fair will include approximately 80 to 90 dealers from around the world.  

“TEFAF represents the highest level of quality and connoisseurship, which are values we share with the dealers and collectors who participate in our shows,” noted Willem van Roijen, Chairman of TEFAF.  “Our fair has also established itself as the leading showcase for introducing fresh works to the marketplace and is further distinguished by its rigorous vetting process for both participating galleries and works of art. These same core principles are the foundation of the fairs that we are conceiving for New York and the U.S.”

“On numerous occasions our exhibitors in Maastricht have expressed the need and desire for a TEFAF platform in the US, as have many private and institutional collectors,” said Patrick van Maris van Dijk, CEO of TEFAF. “Among the different possibilities TEFAF has explored over the past couple of years, this partnership with Artvest in the Park Avenue Armory New York really stood out. It is a typical combination of ideal time, ideal place, ideal people. They share our values of excellence and expertise and respect the time and facilities we need for our far-reaching vetting and exceptional stand build. Because of this we were able to move quickly. It has been less than a year since we first discussed this opportunity. It presented the unique possibility to be present not just once but twice every year at the very best location in the city. As the world’s most buoyant art market, New York is a perfect match. The city’s dynamism and its cultural and economic power provide the best possible circumstances for a TEFAF fair outside of Maastricht. It also provides a perfect window to TEFAF Maastricht for those in the United States who are not yet acquainted with TEFAF.”

TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation) is a non-profit organization led by a committee of leading dealers from around the world. In addition to organizing its fairs the foundation commissions and annually publishes the much anticipated TEFAF Art Market Report. It also maintains a philanthropic program for the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage. Every year, the Executive Committee of The European Fine Art Foundation invites museums that have attended TEFAF Maastricht in that year to apply for a grant from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund to support the conservation of objects that are in those museums’ collections. Through the Cultural Emergency Response Program (CER) from the Prince Claus Fund it provides first aid to cultural heritage damaged by man-made disasters or natural disasters. In addition, over the past two years some 20 American museums have received support from The European Fine Art Foundation for a variety of projects.

The TEFAF fairs’ Opening Nights in New York will benefit the acclaimed cultural programs produced by Park Avenue Armory, a not-for-profit arts organization, and TEFAF’s restoration projects and other philanthropic activities in America and around the world.  

The TEFAF art fairs will be held using the existing dates of Spring Masters by Artvest and of The International Show which was recently acquired by TEFAF in cooperation with Artvest. These acquisitions provide a foundation of relationships with US-based collectors and experience with New York-based fairs that will facilitate the rapid development of the new TEFAF fairs.  The 2016 edition of Spring Masters in May will take place as planned under its original name and structure.

Over the years TEFAF Maastricht has established an unsurpassed reputation as the world’s leading fair for art, antiques and design. It aims to strengthen this position by focusing on three core values – Excellence, Expertise and Elegance. These project and reinforce the character of a fair that defines excellence in art and attracts collectors, connoisseurs, curators and other art lovers from all over the world. TEFAF continually improves the breadth, quality and display of the items for sale, while at the same time presenting memorable exhibitions and taking ground-breaking initiatives that have changed the way the fine art world does business. The fair offers the best of 7,000 years of art history currently on the market. In addition to the traditional areas of old master paintings and antique works of art, you can see and buy at TEFAF Maastricht a wide variety of classical modern and contemporary art, photographs, as well as jewellery, 20th-century design and works on paper.

TEFAF Maastricht is unequalled in its standard of quality and in the methods it uses to establish the authenticity of every painting and object on sale. Participating dealers are only admitted after a strict selection process. TEFAF’s ground-breaking vetting system involves no fewer than 175 international experts in 29 different categories, who examine every work of art for quality, authenticity and condition. Highly sophisticated technical equipment, such as the advanced Hirox digital microscope and the portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, supports the vetting members’ personal expertise. TEFAF was also the first to introduce The Art Loss Register at the fair in 2000, this, the largest private database of stolen art, provides information about registered stolen art.

TEFAF’s annual art market reports have provided invaluable insights on how the market is performing and how it is affected by globalization and other issues. Since 2000 fifteen reports into a variety of different topics have been published. Modern and contemporary art is also vetted, a procedure that is by no means common at other general or specialist art fairs. It goes without saying that any stolen objects are removed from the fair immediately. 

The upcoming edition of TEFAF Maastricht (11-20 March 2016)  presents 270 of the world’s leading galleries from 20 countries. TEFAF Maastricht 2016, MECC, Maastricht, Netherlands. www.tefaf.com