Galerie J. Kugel, Paris

Located in Hôtel Collot near the Place de la Concorde in Paris, it the Galerie J. Kugel is specialized in museum-quality artworks from Medieval and Renaissance down to the Empire period. The eclecticism of works of art is tremendous with Kunstkammer objects, silver, furniture, sculpture, ivories, scientific instruments, rock crystal, Russian art, and paintings.

Galerie J. Kugel, Paris

Located in Hôtel Collot near the Place de la Concorde in Paris, it the Galerie J. Kugel is specialized in museum-quality artworks from Medieval and Renaissance down to the Empire period. The eclecticism of works of art is tremendous with Kunstkammer objects, silver, furniture, sculpture, ivories, scientific instruments, rock crystal, Russian art, and paintings.

Practical info

Antique Art

25 quai Anatole France
75007 Paris, France

+33 (0) 1 42 60 86 23
[email protected]

Galerie J. Kugel
25, quai Anatole France
75007 Paris

José Maria Sert

Décor for Corina Kavanagh’s music room
Buenos Aires, 1938
Oil and gold on canvas
H. 2,5m x Total L. 14,77m

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Interview with Alexis & Nicolas Kugel

Alexis and Nicolas Kugel in the courtyard of their gallery, 2018

When the brilliant art dealer Jacques Kugel died in 1985, his sons Alexis and Nicolas Kugel were only 19 and 22 years old. As the fifth generation of art dealers, they had such a big challenge on their hands: continuing or even surpassing what their father had created. Successful changeover for Galerie J. Kugel which is today recognized as one of the most important antique art galleries around the world. With TEFAF Maastricht taking place early March where Galerie Kugel will exhibit, I spoke to Alexis and Nicolas about this unique fair.

Your gallery has participated in TEFAF Maastricht, Netherlands, almost since its creation in 1988 and I presume you have been the witnesses of many changes. How was the fair at the beginning, before becoming this unmissable event?

Alexis Kugel: This fair is even older. My father participated to the 1978 edition. I was 12 and accompanied him. At one point he asked me to keep the booth for half an hour. It was a traumatic experience. I thought all the visitors were there to rob. We returned in 1990. It was still a bit provincial but we could sense it had all the requirement to become a leading fair.

Nicolas Kugel: In 1990 the fair was very interesting at that time it attracted some Dutch and German clients who would never travel to any other fair. The ambiance between colleagues was excellent and we felt very welcome in this venture.

You have recreated in Hôtel Collot a true connoisseur’s home, presenting furniture, paintings, sculptures and works of art in a luxurious yet intimate décor. It seems challenging to do the same in a fair booth. How do you adapt for a fair, and does it change the way people view your pieces?

A.K: In our case a fair is frustrating because we have to show the wide range of field we are dealing with in a limited space. I encourage everyone to visit our Paris Gallery but we still have very good clients who buy from us in Maastricht for more than 10 years and never visited us in Paris.

N.K: One is always revealing a vision on art by the proximity of the art and the display. Even with a simpler decoration the choice of pieces is our signature like every exhibitor.

“We were raised in the culture of “maximalism” as opposed to “minimalism”. It has been our trademark as long as quantity still rhymes with quality.”

Collectors’ tastes and trends have changed a lot in 30 years. How have you adapted and evolved the way you showcase artworks on a stand?

A.K: We were raised in the culture of “maximalism” as opposed to “minimalism”. It has been our trademark as long as quantity still rhymes with quality. We are trying to reduce the number of pieces to bring to the fair but it is still about 200 instead 300 while some other dealers sometime bring less than 10 pieces.

N.K: We try to improve our display every year, but it depends of the pieces we have been able to gather every year. We try to create a surprise every time.

Last year in Maastricht, you showcased an exceptional décor comprising 28 panels created in the 1930s by José María Sert. Can you give us some insights about what visitors will admire on your stand this time?

A.K: No, I like surprises.

N.K: We typically do not reveal our highlights before the fair opens. What we want to emulate at Maastricht is the effect of surprise and excitement…so you will have to come and see!

After all these years, I have no doubt that you both know the city of Maastricht very well. Can you share some places you like with our readers that will come to TEFAF in March?

A.K: Harry’s Bar at the Beaumont Hotel is a nice restaurant with a bistrot atmosphere. To stay, or for a drink, the Kruisherenhotel, a former monastery and 15th-century Gothic church. Don’t miss out on the Treasury at the Basilica of St. Servaas, which houses beautiful medieval artworks.

N.K: The Bonnenfanten Museum and discovering the small streets of the old city.

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