Each year, Cultural Comms client The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) hosts a fair of the highest calibre in the city of Maastricht, with exhibitors from around the globe bringing together 7,000 years of art history in a single venue. The 2024 edition was as extraordinary as ever, with close to 50,000 visitors attending over just eight days to view and buy works by the likes of Gentileschi, Morisot, and Fabergé, writes Matthew Bessant.

Private collectors were out in force, as were museum directors intent on acquiring works for the world’s foremost art institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Musée d’Orsay, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Rijksmuseum, to name but a few. Landmark sales included Van Gogh’s Tête de Paysanne à la Coiffe Blanche, brought to the fair by the New Orleans-based gallerist MS Rau; Jazz, bon à tirer, a remarkable collection of plates by Henri Matisse; and Giambologna’s Striding Mars, which was sold by sculpture dealer Stuart Lochhead to a major American museum for $4 million.

In light of geo-political events, cultural preservation was high on the agenda for discussion and the fair’s inaugural TEFAF Summit saw an emotional audience hear of the efforts made by museum professionals at times of crises to safeguard their homelands’ rich cultural heritage, reminding all those present that the preservation of cultural heritage is second only to that of human life.

Following a six-month preparatory campaign, the Cultural Comms team was onsite to ensure that the incredible stories brought to Maastricht were seen and heard on the world stage; coverage was secured in such publications as British Vogue, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The New York Times, with all acknowledging that TEFAF remains unique in its art-historical offering.

Though TEFAF Maastricht has closed its doors for 2024, the team at Cultural Comms now turns its attention to its stateside sister fair; with a focus on modern and contemporary art, TEFAF New York will open at the Park Avenue Armoury on 10 May.

Find out more: hello@culturalcomms.co.uk.