You have 2 more free articles remaining

Announcing the cancellation, fair organiser Lorenzo A. Rudolf, vice-president of IFAE, said: “In agreement with most of the top dealers, especially the Europeans, we are postponing the fair for one year. The dealers have a tremendous interest in the American market, and have expressed their confidence in us and their eagerness to participate in a high-calibre fair in New York.

“This is the reason we have considered their advice to postpone for one year and to build up together a top fair in 2004.”

The decision to postpone was clearly taken at a late stage. In early June, Mr Rudolf announced that the fair’s opening night preview party would benefit New York’s prestigious Frick Collection, and later in the month it was promised that a list of 100 international exhibitors would be released on July 1.

As was reported in Gazette No 1597, July 12, doubts were expressed as to the future of the fair when that list did not materialise.

Last week Mr Rudolf told the Gazette: “I have been in contact with at least 80 blue-chip dealers, all of whom wish to support the fair. But in Europe, particularly France and Germany, the market is dead and the dealers are afraid to make a decision. They are afraid to sign a contract and take a risk at the moment.”

With signs that the American economy is picking up, the future of the Fall Fair now depends on whether it will have picked up enough by next year to support a second major October fair in Manhattan.