Maastricht: The Best Art Fair in the World

Photographs by the author.

The opulence that begins upon entering the TEFAF Maastricht fair is palpable. Initially, one feels like royalty while strolling on the long walkway leading up to the beginning of the booths at Maastricht, an art and antiques fair in The Netherlands.

From this grand entrance, there is significant visual beauty immediately in store. The tulips begin and they never end. They grace every isle and many stands making the fair itself seem as though it is bursting out in bloom and good cheer.

The booths range from early antiquities to modern art and even photography. The Aronson stand from Amsterdam sells high end early Dutch Delftware (below left). On the other end of the spectrum, there is dramatic modern art to be seen (below right).

The modern art ranges from the traditional to the refined (below left) to the bizarre (below right). This stuffed animal, certainly not to everyone’s taste, drew a lot of attention in spite of its controversial standing. One reason was that it was unique and another might be that animals that go through taxidermy are now said to be the latest accessory for those who are fashion crazed, according to The Independent.

Those who attend the fair tend to be artsy themselves. Their shoes tell the story. The middle pair below belongs to a fashion designer, Larisa Katz. She is among the several professions that attend the fair other than collectors.

Dealers were not without their own cache. Some had dramatic booths that seemed to out of a movie set (below left). Others were more traditional, but still gave a high impact, often exuding establishment, honesty and trust (below right).

Though it is still a year ahead of time, those who think they might visit Maastricht 2013, have to begin to make plans soon. Hotels sell out fast.

I stayed in a modest but clean hotel called Mabi (pronounced “maybe”) in Maastricht near shopping and restaurants. The downside was that some vehicles could not go to the front of the hotel since it is on a small street so you have to carry luggage anywhere from a half a block to several depending on where the vehicle could park. The hotel used to be a movie theater and it capitalizes on this with its decoration within the hotel (below right).

For those who enjoy cultural stimulation, going to the Maastricht fair will certainly be pleasing. It is not good or even better. It is the best.

Further Reading:
Maastricht 2013