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The art fair is dead, long live the art fair

February 28, 2017


I was a little puzzled by Cornell Dewitt’s assertion that: Art fairs do not struggle or close because of competition from other fairs; they close because of competition for their client galleries’ and visitors’ money and attention… As a longtime exhibitor in antique and/or art fairs it has become very obvious to me that once a show becomes successful, other promoters want to get a slice of the pie.  Those promoters then open fairs during the same period, over-saturate the market and I am sure you can guess what happens … fairs close.

There was a point in time, many moons ago, when New York offered a handful of art and/or antique shows.  The dealers and promoters were successful. Today, the number of fairs/shows is out of control and buyers know that if they do not attend the one that is on this week, they can see another next week.

I know that the likelihood of things changing is pretty small since most promoters just want to make money, expand their brand and love to step on each other’s turf.  What they need to realize is that in the end, having two or three really successful shows in certain markets is far better for their dealers than having a bunch of mediocre shows in many markets.

Source: The art fair is dead, long live the art fair