PAN Amsterdam: Confidence in art, quality and class

3rd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

The twenty-third PAN Amsterdam boasts continuing confidence in the art market amid economic uncertainty. This year's fair will run from 22 to 29 November at Amsterdam RAI.

This year sees the twenty-third PAN Amsterdam, national art and antiques fair. The fair attracts a huge variety of art lovers, both young and old, with antique and modern art on offer from EUR 250 to 1 million. PAN Amsterdam allows potential buyers to browse, make comparisons and purchase with confidence: each item is vetted before the fair by experts who verify quality, condition and authenticity.

This year’s fair will run from 22 to 29 November in the Parkhal, in Amsterdam’s RAI conference centre. For more information, see

The first art fair in the Netherlands—the Fine Art and Antiques Fair in Delft—was staged in 1949 and, for many years, was the country’s leading event of its kind. In 1987, six prominent Dutch antique and art dealers left the Delft fair and set up the independent Pictura Antiquairs Nationaal (PAN), now PAN Amsterdam.

In the words of one founder, Evert Douwes Sr, “The Dutch art market was ready for a new look. This change was not possible at the Fine Art and Antiques fair in Delft.” In 1993, the Delft fair joined forces with PAN Amsterdam and the largest national art fair was born. Nowadays, PAN Amsterdam hosts around 120 exhitors and 35,000 visitors each year.
PAN Amsterdam offers an exciting combination of antique and modern: PAN Amsterdamold masters alongside contemporary art; modern and antique jewellery; old and contemporary silver, ceramics and glass; antique furniture and twentieth-century design. Equally surprising is the diversity of art from Classical Antiquity and non-European cultures, including Asian, African and Pre-Columbian art, ethnic art plus new Japanese and South Korean painting. This diversity encourages many people to make impulse purchases and blend styles and periods in their own collections.

The fair’s latest innovation—the design pavilion—is PAN Amsterdam’s response to the growing demand for decorative art and design. Ad van den Bruinhorst of De Andere Tijd in Kampen noted, “The Netherlands lacked a fair of PAN Amsterdam’s quality, where design and decorative modern art was presented alongside classical art. This combination works extremely well, because there is frequent cross-pollination. People are increasingly combining different styles in their interiors.”

More than ever, art buyers are mindful of quality. Eighteen specialist vetting committees guarantee this quality at PAN Amsterdam. Vetting at PAN AmsterdamThey consist of more than 80 experts, who assess the quality, authenticity and condition of each object before the fair, and immediately remove any object that does not satisfy the requirements. “This strict vetting system attracts visitors who attach importance to quality and like to be able to buy art with confidence. This also makes PAN Amsterdam very enjoyable for me as a dealer,” says Jacques Fijnaut, chairman of the vetting committee.

Confidence in crisis
Confidence in the art market has remained stable despite the present uncertain financial and economic climate. "People need more time before taking the decision to buy, but they do buy," noted PAN Amsterdam's Ghislaine Hofman. People have turned to buying art, as a more secure investment than stocks or real estate. "Especially the more traditional arts have proven to be quite stable."s provide.”

Salomon Lilian, one of the original exhibitors at PAN Amsterdam and a specialist in old masters, agrees: “There is more interest in old masters than in previous years. The prices are relatively stable and people value the security that old masters provide.”

For Galerie de Rijk, specialist in Nul / Zero and concrete art, PAN Amsterdam 2008 was the best fair ever. Heleen de Rijk said, “Collectors seem to be rediscovering Nul / Zero and concrete art. The quality of this segment has grown enormously at PAN Amsterdam and this attracts seriously interested art lovers.”

Appreciating art
Appreciating art
During each day of the fair, visitors can have a expert guided tour of the fair (in Dutch). The PAN Academy also runs a short practical Dutch course every October and November, for art lovers who want to increase their knowledge about the art market or would like to build up an art collection.ld.

On Thursday 26 November is PAN Art Encounters, an evening event specially aimed at art lovers in the thirty to fifty age range. Young collector Jeroen Hofhuis has attended this private evening for many years: "PAN Art Meetings is the place to get to know about art as a novice art buyer. Art dealers make time to answer all your questions, you can look and compare in a quiet atmosphere and there are often artists on hand too. This all takes place during a relaxed and pleasant get-together over a drink; the perfect way to expand your knowledge about the art world."

Stimulating the senses
PAN Amsterdam is more than just an art fair. The attractive decor and catering facilities make it an experience where art can be viewed, compared and purchased in relaxed style.

In a single afternoon, visit 120 galleries, art and antique dealers, who will be delighted to share their knowledge with buyers and browsers alike.

  • Where? Amsterdam RAI-Parkhal 
  • When? 22--29 November 2009, daily from 11 am--7 pm
  • (Thursday 26 and Sunday 29 November, from 11 am--6 pm)
  • For more information, see, including a list of exhibitors plus sale catalogue from late October.

Van Lanschot Bankiers is the principal sponsor of PAN Amsterdam 2009.


Expatica / Anna Ritchie


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