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International Fine Art and Antiques Fair Has Record Attendance

By Katy Mantyk
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 28, 2012 Last Updated: November 11, 2012
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A rare Brussels tapestry from the series The Continents, mid-18th century, from the workshop of Jan Frans van der Borght, who belonged to a large and famous dynasty of weavers. Made of wool and silk threads, 9 feet 6 inches by 8 feet. Offered by Keshishian from London. (Courtesy of Keshishian)

A rare Brussels tapestry from the series The Continents, mid-18th century, from the workshop of Jan Frans van der Borght, who belonged to a large and famous dynasty of weavers. Made of wool and silk threads, 9 feet 6 inches by 8 feet. Offered by Keshishian from London. (Courtesy of Keshishian)

NEW YORK—The arts and antiques market is alive and well. A seven-day run of the International Fine Art & Antiques Dealers Show, considered the best of its kind in America, at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan was very successful in the opinion of the dealers and the organizers Anna and Brian Haughton, according to the feedback reported in the post-event press release.

And if the crowds were anything to judge by, then the record number of visitors is an indicator of how impressive the event was. The last day of the fair was Oct. 25.

The fair, now in its 24th year, attracted collectors, interior designers, and museum curators from all over the world. Familiar faces and art lovers seen mulling through the booths included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, fashion designer Carolina Herrera, actress Bette Midler, actress Tracey Ullman, actor Julian Sands, and actress Sigourney Weaver.

Big names come because the art is that good, having to go through top-notch vetting to even get into the show. Visitors were treated to a panoply of collecting areas, from the ancient world to the contemporary, from East to West presented by the 66 top-tier international dealers this year.

$1 Million Raised

The preview party that opened the show was a glamorous evening attended by more than 1,200 guests, raising over $1 million for the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A design committee, led by Architectural Digest Editor-in-Chief Margaret Russell and designer Charlotte Moss, transformed the café area into an elegant French garden parterre for the party.

Art Sales Trump Market Concerns

Exhibiting dealers noted the energy in the fair and the renewed vitality in the market, according to feedback in the press release.

“The fair was very well attended and there was a buoyant atmosphere throughout. We made sales of furniture and works of art to private collectors and museums,” Martin Levy of Blairman from London said in a press release.

Its sales were the range of $2,000 to $50,000 and included a set of shelves by Ernest Gimson, ceramics and glass by Dr. Christopher, and a dresser and walnut side chair by Giles Grendey, circa 1730.

And though the show is over, and many sales were completed on the spot, more sales will continue after the fair’s close and in the months to come, according to past experience. The press release states, “Dealers reported strong sales to new and established clients alike with vigorous interest from an extremely well-educated collecting crowd.”

Also noteworthy in the post-event report was that museums were out in force. Major international museums, including the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frick Collection, Morgan Library, and Brooklyn Museum, sent directors and curators to the fair.

“Several important museum acquisitions were made and institutional representation was reportedly stronger than ever,” reads the report.

Next year, the fair, which is the flagship event of Haughton Fairs, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. No doubt it will exceed expectations.

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