The newly created role, chairing the vetting across all three TEFAF Fairs (TEFAF Maastricht, TEFAF New York Spring and TEFAF New York Fall) will be filled by Wim Pijbes, emeritus general director at the Rijksmuseum.
He takes over from Henk van Os, another former director of the Rijksmuseum, who chaired the vetting committees at Maastricht for more than a decade.
The announcement of a new figurehead follows a review of legal issues relating to vetting and the controversial decision to ‘recalibrate’ vetting committees for TEFAF events to ensure that only experts with ‘as little commercial interest in the art market as possible’ are included as voting members.
For the first time this year dealers and auction house specialists have been excluded from the fair’s 28 different vetting committees that henceforth will be composed of a 180-strong team of academics, curators, conservators, conservation scientists and independent scholars only.
The new policy was not without its detractors and TEFAF has extended a small olive branch to those who have been sidelined. “Whilst it is TEFAF’s global policy to remove commercial interest from the vetting procedures, it is also important to acknowledge the expertise held by art dealers and auction house experts. As such, where it is necessary to consult commercially interested parties in the vetting process, such individuals will have a non-voting role.”
Pijbes was recommended for the new role by TEFAF’s Global Vetting Steering Committee. In a statement he said: “TEFAF is dedicated to delivering a transparent vetting process, that is diligent and thorough, and which engenders trust in collectors. We want to create an environment at TEFAF based on trust, transparency and truth, in which collectors are confident that the works of art they buy at TEFAF Fairs’ are authentic.”
Read a range of views on TEFAF's vetting policy in the latest issue of Antiques Trade Gazette (No 2382).
Ahead of TEFAF Maastricht this month read our interview with Patrick van Maris.