I’m incredibly proud to be Mayor of a city with a reputation as one of the world’s great art and antiques capitals.
London is a cultural powerhouse. One in every six jobs in the capital is in the creative economy and four out of five visitors to our city say that their main reason for visiting is our unrivalled culture and heritage.
Our world-leading museums, galleries, markets, auction houses and exhibitions delight millions – and are also academic centres of excellence and key generators of jobs, investment and growth.
The capital’s vibrant arts and antique sectors have amazed, enthralled and inspired generations of visitors, showing that London is open to business, to innovation, to creativity and, above all, to people from around the world.
The Antiques Trade Gazette’s London Summer Capital of Art supplement showcases London’s great cultural diversity and opportunity, with doors opening across the city to welcome people from every nation.
Whether you’re buying or selling in one of the capital’s great auction houses, dealer shops or fairs or visiting great collections at London’s exceptional museums – I hope you enjoy all that London has to offer this summer.
‘The capital’s vibrant arts and antique sectors have amazed, enthralled and inspired generations of visitors’
Welcome to the Antiques Trade Gazette’s annual celebration of London Summer’s season of fairs, exhibitions, auctions and events.
The Mayor of London’s oft-stated theme is that the city is very much ‘open for business’. This resonates strongly in our world. If ‘openness’ means multi-culturalism, accessibility and pro-business, then the London Summer season certainly fits the bill.
Take the two major fairs, The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia and Masterpiece London. This year, both retain their wide cultural diversity, with 160 and 150 exhibitors respectively. Dealers are travelling from far and wide to take part; and we’re happy to report that their mood is buoyant.
Accessibility is another watch-word for sellers this year. London Summer’s increasing cross-collecting focus means buyers can source objects ranging from antiquities to present-day works, with price tags starting at £100 rising to £1m+ for those with somewhat deeper pockets.
London’s antiques shops are also putting out their summer bunting. To highlight what these shops have to offer, we took leading interior designers down one famous street, Kensington Church Street, to gauge their reaction.
As for London’s other antiques quarters, what better way to describe them than to borrow American writer Bill Bryson’s observation that “London isn’t a place at all, it’s a million little places”.
The clear message this year is that, more than ever, visitors are spoiled for choice, whether they’re here to buy, or just to look and learn. As the forthcoming months will demonstrate, London still remains perfectly positioned as Europe’s entrepôt art market place – with its many doors open wide.