Art And Culture

Maastricht to Host TEFAF Art Event

TEFAF Art Symposium 2018, which is a European fine art fair, will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from March 10-18.

The event presents fine art from across the world by creating a community of top art dealers and experts to inspire lovers and buyers of art. It is one of the three international fairs held annually by TEFAF art community. The other two fairs are TEFAF New York Spring and TEFAF New York Fall.

A total of 29 vetting committees of the fair specialize in everything from ancient art, old master paintings, and modern and contemporary art to sculpture and design, photography, clocks and watches, ceramics, jewelry, glass, icons, silver, furniture and wallpaper, The New York Times reported.

Currently, 8% of vetters are dealers. The rest are people with “no skin in the game”, as Edgar Peters Brown put it. He is one of close to 190 vetters grouped in 29 TEFAF committees in charge of checking that all objects pass muster.

“You want to make sure that the people who come to your fair have confidence in what they buy,” said TEFAF’s New York-based Chairman Nanne Dekking, who was appointed in July and is co-founder and chief executive of Artory, a company that provides secure data on artworks.

That confidence has wavered a little since March 2017 when four galleries with stands at TEFAF were reported by the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad to be under scrutiny for having sold potentially forged objects elsewhere. All four galleries have stands in this year’s fair, too.

   Vetting Process

Two days before the fair opens—with exhibitors strictly barred from entering the premises—the vetters gather. For the next day and a half, they scrutinize everything on sale.

They then issue one of three verdicts: that the object is fine, that the object is unacceptable, or that the object can stay but needs a label adjustment.

The third option is “what happens most often”, said Cecile van Vlissingen, TEFAF’s vetting and special projects coordinator.

Since 2014, vetters have been aided by a team of scientific and technical research specialists that includes Robert van Langh, the head of the Department of Conservation and Restoration at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

“You start from connoisseurship with the eye,” van Langh said. “When in doubt, you start using the scientific tools.”

Also involved in the screening process is the London-based Art Loss Register, which keeps a computerized record of lost or stolen artworks by pooling information from law enforcement, governments and intergovernmental organizations.

All exhibitors at TEFAF are required to send the Art Lost Register their list of objects well in advance. On vetting day, an eight-person team from the register then goes around with laptops to do further checks.

   Van Gogh’s

A rarely seen early work by Vincent van Gogh will be displayed by art dealer Ivo Bouwman at TEFAF Maastricht on Saturday.

The painting, titled Cityscape with Drawbridge, has been privately owned for 114 years, according to  Van Gogh (1853-90) left this painting with his mother in Nuenen before he left for Paris in November 1885. Cityscape with Drawbridge has only been shown in three Van Gogh exhibitions. The first was in Rotterdam in 1904, where the grandmother of the current owner acquired it.

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