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European Fine Art Foundation - TEFAF


Text: Edward Winkleman and Patton Hindle (Excerpt from How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery)


European Fine Art Foundation

Arguably the world’s most important art and antiques fair is the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) fair that takes place each March in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and in November and May in the United States. In addition to modern and contemporary art, the original fair, TEFAF Maastricht (as it’s most commonly referred to), hosts galleries specializing in an incredibly wide range of objects including decorative art; arms and armor; books, manuscripts, and maps; classical antiquities; coins and medals; clocks and barometers; furniture; jewelry; medieval sculpture; Asian art; porcelain and ceramics; primitive and pre-Columbian art; textiles, carpets, and tapestries; and more. The only unifying criterion for the fair is extremely high quality. Indeed, the fair is among the most difficult to secure an invitation to (as their website states: “Every item is checked by one of 24 vetting committees made up of over 150 internationally respected experts.)” Although there remains a considerable waiting list for this fair among even well-established galleries, TEFAF have created a section called “Showcase,” which is a strictly one-off participation for galleries older than three years but no older than ten. The vetting process is just as stringent for Showcase as it is the rest of the fair, though. Also, like most major fairs with a “junior” component to them, TEFAF segregates the Showcase galleries into a special pavilion.


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