For its 12th edition, the Brussels Ancient Art Fair/BAAF is continuing to tread the same path, combining rigour with a friendly atmosphere.
Its strict selection policy, both for the exhibitors and the exhibited works, pays off, year after year. Dominique Thirion and I extend a warm welcome to the exhibitors who have remained faithful to the BAAF since its creation and who contribute by their presence to the quality of our event, as well as the many scientists of the Vetting Committee who travel, sometimes from very far away, to assess the works at our fair.
Our exhibitors come from widely varying backgrounds. We should stress that they all exhibit at prestigious antiques fairs: TEFAF, Biennale des Antiquaires de Paris, BRAFA,
Kunst-Messe München, Masterpiece London, without of course forgetting the BAAF Basel, our November counterpart which historically has its roots in the Brussels BAAF.
This year, BAAF is welcoming two distinguished members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) who are exhibiting for the first time in Brussels.
The first comes from Paris, a former disciple of Jean-Philippe Mariaud de Serres, a renowned specialist of ancient Greek ceramics as well as Italian painting; I mean of course Antoine Tarantino. Antoine is also one of the few current dealers in ancient art to specialise in the refined glyptics of Classical Antiquity. Cameos and engravings have no secrets for him.
The second new entrant to our fair is a prominent New York gallery:
The Merrin Gallery. A family firm founded by Edward Merrin in the mid-1960s, to which Sam Merrin and his brother-in-law Moshe Bronstein succeeded.
The Merrin Gallery distinguishes itself by the extreme quality of the objects that it presents to its customers and, like other dealers of the IADAA exhibiting at the BAAF (such as
Dr Robert Bigler from Zurich for Egyptian art and oriental art), it specialises in two distinct fields: the art of "our" Antiquity (Egypt, Greece, Rome, Middle East) and pre-Columbian America.
A dealer who transmits their passion and knowledge to their customers -or simply to visitors entranced by the objects in their gallery- plays a non-negligible didactic, educational and informational role in respect of the public.
Our ancient art trade is not a trade like any other and does not simply have a commercial vocation; it must also serve to enhance knowledge and the scientific world.
The dealers of the BAAF, exclusively members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA), all pursue this ideal.
An emanation of this ideal, the ArtConnoisseurs (www.artsconnoisseurs.eu) cultural project is continuing.
This project was launched last year by the Asian Art in Brussels/AAB oriental art fair and by the Brussels Ancient Art Fair thanks to the experience and the dynamism of two communication specialists, Mr Matthieu Wolmark and Ms Olga Polunin (BIAPAL asbl).
We invite you to a series of high-quality conferences at the prestigious Musical Instruments Museum (MIM), organized in cooperation with IBHEC/BIHCS (Institut belge des hautes études chinoises/Belgisch instituut voor hogere chinese studiën), with the help of Ms. Catherine Joos whom we sincerely thank.
Scientists and curators of European museums will present the collections of their museums or the results of their recent research in the field of classical archaeology, Egyptology and Asian arts.
On 5 and 6 June next, ArtConnoisseurs will host Dr Christian Loeben (Museum August Kestner, Hanover), Dr Maarten Raven (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden),
Dr Rainer Vollkommer (Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum, Vaduz), Dr Luc Delvaux (Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels) as well as key specialists of Asian art such as Dr Richard Pegg, the Curator and Director of the Mc Lean Collection (Art Institute Chicago) or the large collector and former Curator of the department of the Arts of South and South-East Asia at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Steven M. Kossak.
Driven by this same desire to share our passion for these fields of art and antiquity that is the hallmark of each of our days, the videos of the 2013 conferences, those of the interviews with reputable collectors and scientists andthe highlights of the two fairs, can be viewed on the Artconnoisseurs website.
Again this year, in the same spirit as ArtConnoisseurs, the Brussels Ancient Art Fair is organising an exhibition entitled Little-master Cups. The Art of Miniature in Attic Black-Figure Vase.
This exhibition will highlight the extreme refinement of these objects: the combination of the formal beauty of the kylix and the sobriety of the painted decoration.
BAAF wishes to express its gratitude to all those who have worked on this exhibition, to the lenders, and especially to the person who agreed to oversee this exhibition, Prof. Dr Herman Brijder, a world authority on Greek ceramics.
Finally, we should point out to our visitors that BRUNEAF, the great tribal art fair partner of AAB and BAAF, is organising at the same time a very important exhibition on New Guinea with objects loaned by the Museum of Tervuren: Masterpieces. Art of New Guinea from the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren.
This exhibition will be held on the premises of the "Nonciature", on the Place du Grand Sablon.
Organising Committee of the Brussels Ancient Art Fair (BAAF)