The Open Art Fair is a brand new art and design fair at Duke of York Square, from March 18-24. Here’s what to expect.


See a stunning range of the very best pieces of art and design at the first Open Art Fair in Chelsea this month.

It is the perfect place for collectors, novices and sellers alike to uncover a host of treasures.

The organisers are hoping to attract a wide audience with their fun and surprising range of art to see and buy.

The fair caters for all tastes from 18th and 19th century paintings to Art Deco, Art Nouveau and porcelain.

There will also be jewellery, furniture and aeronautica, Lalique, Old Masters and more.

Plus, you can even take your best friend as the event is dog-friendly!

Cheaper treasures

The fair has come about thanks to the co-founders of Masterpiece Fair, Thomas Woodham-Smith and Harry van der Hoorn, owner of Stabilo.

They have bought the 27-year-old BADA Fair and opened it to a broader range of about 100 exhibitors.

Crucially, the stands are not exclusively expensive.

Both big names and new ones will be present, and young visitors will have just as much fun as established buyers.

“We welcome the modern as well as the ancient.”

“We are building a fair which will focus on excellence rather than any specific era or style,” says Woodham-Smith.

Ideal for the future

Now is the perfect time to launch the Open Art Fair, says Woodham-Smith.

“The great challenge for the market, not just the fair, is to make itself relevant for the 2020s.

“People’s tastes are constantly evolving. And, equally, dealers are leaving behind the traditional methods of shop-based dealing,” he adds.

“At the Open Art Fair we are geared to being nimble enough to provide an ever-changing platform.

“This will be ideal for the next generation.”

Maverick Chelsea

And, naturally, Chelsea is the perfect home for it.

“Chelsea has always been both a cultural and commercial centre,” says Woodham-Smith.

“It also has a maverick aspect driven by its bohemian past and the small physical scale of most of the shops and cafés.

“This means that what’s on offer can be more experimental or specialist.”

He adds: “We aim for the fair to be a good place for our dealers to do business.

“We want to offer a fun and surprising range of things for the visitors to see and possibly buy.”

Food, drink and dogs

The fair will also be a social hub, home to artisanal delights.

It has partnered with Vardo restaurant to provide its café.

Meanwhile Gimlet will run the bar with homemade cordials and bespoke cocktails.

Plus it’s dog-friendly.

So even if you are not into art in the traditional sense, the fair is still worth a wander.


This article first appeared in Sloane Square magazine.

Find similar stories in the Art section of our website.

You may like to read Moonlight about an exhibition of colourful paintings and sculpture at Osborne Studio Gallery, Belgravia.

Or try Picasso the Legend in which art historian Diana Widmaier-Picasso talks about her new book about her grandfather.

In Baroque and Roll, read about art from the largely overlooked British Baroque period on show at Tate Britain.


Main picture: London to Edinburgh Royal Mail coach by John Frederick Herring, The Parker Gallery.

Other pictures (left to right): Scarlet Ibis by Basil Ede, Rountree Tyron Galleries.

Silver gilt, pearl, amethyst and green chrysoberyl necklace by Georgie Gaskin, the Peartree collection.

Floral eyes by Eileen Forrester, Ottocento Fine Art.

Aladdin by Elyse Ashe Lord – Sarah Colgrave Fine Art.

George III silver gilt covered cup by William Elliot, Cooke Antiques.

Cymric silver claret jug by Archibald Knox.