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Tilman Riemenschneider, Verkundigung
Tilman Riemenschneider, Verkundigung, 1515-20, at Daniel Katz Ltd., London, and Edgar Degas, Self-portrait in his library, ca. 1895, Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Fine Photographs, New York, both presenting at TEFAF Maastricht 2012


Mar. 14, 2012

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The European Fine Art Fair, known as TEFAF for short, was founded 25 years ago in the small town of Maastricht, situated at the old center of Europe, easily reached from the art hubs of Paris, London, Brussels and the Rhineland. In 1988 the show had 97 exhibitors, a not inconsequential number, and 18,000 visitors. Today, nearly 80,000 people surge through the halls of the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre like drunken honey bees, intoxicated by the magnificent works -- anchored by offerings of Flemish and Dutch Old Masters -- at the stands of 265 exhibitors from around the world.

Exhibitors range from A La Vieille Russie, Didier Aaron and Agnew’s through Waterhouse & Dodd, Van de Weghe Fine Art and Kunsthandel Mieke Zilverberg. The online catalogue can be accessed here.

Among the highlights is a recently discovered Tilman Riemenschneider alabaster relief of the Annunciation, ca. 1515-20, presented by the London dealer Daniel Katz Ltd.; a five-foot-wide landscape titled Spring, 1618-19, with figures by Jan Brueghel the Elder and scenery by Joos de Momper, priced at €3.5 million at Bernheimer Fine Old Masters from Munich; and a Edgar Degas photographic Self-Portrait, ca. 1895, at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from New York.

Special exhibitions include the display of Alexander Calder’s BMW Art Car from 1975, a sign of TEFAF’s awareness of the increasing slice of the art-market pie going to contemporary art, and an exhibition of “Master Drawings from the Fondation Custodia in Paris,” featuring works -- preparatory drawings for paintings -- by Leonardo, Guercino and Rembrandt, among other.

The special symposium this year, slated to take place on the morning of Mar. 16, 2012, is titled “Collecting for Love or Money?” (registration is €95). Speakers include Tilburg University professor Rachel Pownall, whose subject is “Emotional Value and Art Investment,” and Tutela Capital research chief Fabian Bocart, who is speaking on “Financial risks and rewards of investments in art. Panelists include J. Patrice Marandel, curator of paintings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Philip Hoffman, CEO of the Fine Art Fund Group, the art investment fund.

The panel is being live-streamed on and during 9 am -12 pm Central European Time, or 4-7 am Eastern Standard Time.

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