The European Fine Art Fair – better known under the acronym TEFAF – is the fair of all superlatives. Since its creation in 1988, it has grown to become one of the most important art shows. TEFAF Maastricht is highly attended. About 70,000 visitors indeed abound every year to admire thousands of “museum quality” pieces that cover 7,000 years of art history. Thus collectors, curators, art dealers come to purchase exciting artworks. As the quality is outstanding, the price range is high. Thus, those who cannot afford to buy something, can at least admire and sometimes even touch these treasures. For 10 days, the small city of Maastricht, Netherlands, becomes the beating heart of the art market. Since October 2016 and May 2017, TEFAF runs two other fairs: TEFAF New York Fall, covering fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920 and TEFAF New York Spring, focused on modern and contemporary art & design.
Patrick van Maris shares his views!
Former CEO of TEFAF
TEFAF Maastricht 2021
6229 GV Maastricht
29 May: 11am – 7pm
Early Acess Day (Invite only)
30 May: 11am – 7pm
Preview Day (Invite only)
31 May-6 June: 11am – 7pm
12-18 years: €20
Under 12: Free
Season ticket: €150
TEFAF 2019 © Mark Niederman
Insights TEFAF Maastricht
Patrick van Maris van Dijk
Former CEO of TEFAF
What would you say is the DNA of TEFAF Maastricht?
TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation that champions expertise and diversity in the global art community. TEFAF acts as an expert guide for both private and institutional collectors, which inspires lovers and buyers of art everywhere. We are the Davos of Art – everyone who matters in the artworld visits the fair for a couple of days.
We believe in the intrinsic value of art from all ages and from across all sectors and strive to inspire appreciation of the best art in varied forms. We are also a leader in the art fair field when it comes to vetting procedures and it is something we take very seriously as an organization. We set the standard with 180 vetters in 28 vetting committees. Every object in the fair has been judged by independent experts on quality, authenticity and condition, to create an atmosphere where collectors can buy with confidence
What type of galleries are chosen to exhibit, and why?
A factor that unites our participating galleries is their expertise across their respective fields. We have galleries that specialize in mid-century design alongside galleries dealing in Old Master paintings; we have contemporary jewelers alongside specialists in 18th-century works on paper. The offering is diverse, covering 7,000 years of art history, and the depth of expertise is unrivalled. The galleries exhibit at TEFAF Maastricht because the fair is unparalleled in its appeal – no other fair covers the breadth and depth of the art market in the same way. It is because of this that we attract private and institutional collectors from around the world – it provides a successful selling platform for exhibiting galleries.
What is the price range of pieces? Who is the average buyer?
The price range is almost impossible to quantify as you can find exceptional pieces for in the thousands all the way up to the millions.
The collector profile is as varied as the exhibitors – we welcome every year private and institutional collectors; seasoned collectors and first-time buyers; those with a love of cultural expression; collectors from Europe, North America, Asia, South America, the Middle East – all over really.
“Tefaf is about beauty and the best quality in the world. Our visitors appreciate these two factors and are looking for the best pieces on the market.”
TEFAF Maastricht 2019 © Mark Niederman
Who is the typical attendee of TEFAF Maastricht?
TEFAF is about beauty and the best quality in the world. Our visitors appreciate these two factors and are looking for the best pieces on the market. We create the best possible buying experience and a therefore we welcome a wide range of guests. With 280 exhibitors TEFAF Maastricht is not a fair to do under two hours, we see that our visitors take the time to really look to art, getting into conversations with our community and enjoy the beauty. This is really about the mindset and is typically for our visitors.
What makes TEFAF Maastricht so special?
As mentioned before, it is the breadth and depth of the fair, covering 7,000 years of art history, that attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition, the fair is in a unique location in the southern tip of the Netherlands in Maastricht. It is a relatively small city and when exhibitors, collectors and visitors are there the focus is 100% on the fair, it is a destination fair – it really concentrates minds and conversations.
What are two other art fairs you would suggest?
There are many good fairs in the world, but I would like to suggest two other fairs we organize, TEFAF New York Spring and TEFAF New York Fall. In 2016 TEFAF decided to go to New York to be present in the center of the art world. Both fairs have their own expertise. The spring fair focusses on modern and contemporary art, fall on art up to 1920. These fairs are smaller compared to TEFAF Maastricht, but are part of our DNA.
TEFAF has translated its signature look and feel to the Armory by working with existing partners – for example, Tom Postma Design, celebrated for its innovative work with leading museums, galleries, and art fairs, has developed designs for the Fairs that interplay with the spectacular spaces while giving them a lighter, contemporary look and feel.
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TEFAF New York Spring is dedicated to modern and contemporary art, as well as design. Held in Manhattan, this fair showcases museum-quality pieces by some of the most talented artists.