Expert line-up for Winter Olympia Fair

The annual Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia is returning for a 26th year to Olympia in Kensington later this month.

Alongside 110 exhibitors, exhibiting rare and pieces that have often never before, some of the industry’s most renowned experts have been confirmed for a series of talks that are free to all ticket holders.

Mary Claire Boyd, Fair Director says: “We’re delighted that the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia is returning for its 26th year with such a fantastic line-up of influential speakers. Alongside the talks programme there will be over 100 exhibitors showcasing an array of beautiful artworks, furniture and ceramics to inspire visitors to buy to add to their collections and home.”

Expert Speakers at the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia are:

Ashley Gray: ‘The BADA Lecture: The Post War Textile Visionaries of Modern Art.’

Art expert Ashley GrayPost war, the world of fashion and modernism fused with dynamic results and today, fashion and textiles are drawing huge crowds at Exhibitions Worldwide from London’s V & A, Paris’s Musee de la Mode to the Met in New York and Boston’s MFA. These rare original works are dynamic, modern and vibrant and now key additions to any modernist collection. Ashley is the director at Gray MCA which sources the rarest and best examples of textiles designed by the Modern British Masters working at the forefront of the art world in post war Europe. Tuesday 1st November at 12:30-13:30.

‘The Wallace Collection presents “The Middle – Tom Ellis”: In conversation with the artist.’

Tom EllisThe new installation in the Front State Room of the Wallace Collection has been created by contemporary London-based artist, Tom Ellis, whose exhibition entitled The Middle centres around his response to the interiors of the Wallace Collection and its interiors. The Middle, which is taking place from the 15th September – 27th November, offers up a fresh perspective on the Wallace Collection’s interiors and was inspired by Ellis’ earliest visits to the gallery where he was immediately interested in the painting and furniture combinations displayed. Tom Ellis and Simone Stewart, who is the exhibition’s curator, will discuss the important relationship between paintings and furniture, and how the project initially came about. Together they’ll explore how the pieces work in the aesthetically complex interior of the Wallace Collection and how this installation relates to the long, rich history of the Wallace Collection. Saturday 5th November at 14:30 – 15:30.

South Africa: The Art of a Nation.

Dr Chris SpringThe British Museum’s exhibition South Africa: The Art of a Nation, co-curated by Dr Chris Spring, presents a history of the country through works of art. Art has played a key role in the country’s politics, from the National Party’s 1960s propaganda use of Jacob Pierneef’s ‘empty’ landscapes, to the recent work by Mary Sibande who, while acknowledging existing inequalities, foresees a bright future both for herself and the nation. The exhibition, which is sponsored by Betsy and Jack Ryan and the logistics partner is IAG Cargo, features work by more than 20 modern and contemporary artists, positioned in a dialogue with objects from each historical period – from the deep past to the present. These contemporary works all have a political element, though some are more subtle and nuanced than others. In this talk, co-curator Dr Chris Spring focuses on this element of the exhibition, analysing each work’s impact when it was created, and also the way these diverse works combine to create a rich and complex history of South Africa over 100,000 years. Tuesday 1st November at 14:30 – 15:30.

Early Indian Sculpture and its International Legacy

Arthur MillnerIndian and Islamic Works of Art Specialist Indian and Islamic Works of Art specialist, Arthur Millner, started his career in the art world at Sotheby’s in 1985, eventually taking charge of their Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian auctions in London. He now works as a freelance consultant in the field, advising auction rooms and private clients, as well as lecturing and writing. His book Damascus Tiles was published by Prestel in 2015. Despite the distinctive character of Indian sculpture, it not only absorbed considerable influence from ancient Greece and Persia, but in turn transformed the art of its eastern neighbours. In this talk we’ll see how the potent combination of Indian Art and Religion manifested itself throughout Asia. Thursday 3rd November at 12:30 to 13:30.

Dreams, Dice and Divination: Islamic Art and the Supernatural

Dr Francesca LeoniDr Francesca Leoni, Specialist in Islamic Manuscripts Dream manuals, talismanic shirts, horoscopic charts and magico-medicinal bowls testify to the changing roles of divinatory practices in the Islamic tradition from the medieval period to our days. A specialist in Islamic manuscripts, Dr Francesca Leoni received her doctorate from Princeton University (New Jersey). She held research and curatorial posts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Rice University (Texas) and the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) over the past 10 years and published on various aspects of Islamic art and material culture. This lecture explores the themes and debates surrounding these widespread yet controversial arts through the lens of art and material culture. Friday 4th November at 14:30 to 15:30.

Value Investing in Interiors

Grant Pierrus Rachel LaxerGrant Pierrus, editor of Interior Style Hunter and interior designer, Rachel Laxer will be speaking on a panel discussion about Rachel’s formula for creating interiors that increase in value over time. Rachel uses her finely tuned eye and wealth of knowledge to spot antiques and vintage pieces that appreciate in value. Carving out a unique niche in the market, Rachel has become known as the value investing interior designer, something that appeals to her global clientele from Silicon Valley, to the French Alps, New York City and London. In this discussion Grant and Rachel discuss how this formula has created a successful design practice for Rachel, why antiques and vintage pieces are so important to interior designers and how you can use antiques and vintage to create your own collection that appreciates in value. Friday 4th November at 12:30 to 13:30.

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon

Flaming June by Leighton
Photograph: Museo de Arte de Ponce

Senior Curator for Museums within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Daniel Robbins is responsible for Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace, two of London’s best-loved house museums. He has organised many exhibitions and has contributed to numerous catalogues and publications around nineteenth-century art, architecture and design, including the authorship of the companion guidebook to Leighton House Museum published in 2011. His talk will explore a landmark exhibition for Leighton House, opening on Friday 4th November entitled, Flaming June: The Making of an Icon which showcases Leighton’s celebrated masterpiece, reunited with other four paintings that the eminent Victorian artist submitted to the Royal Academy in 1895, only a few months before his death. Depicting a sensual, sun-drenched, sleeping female figure wrapped in orange draperies against a Mediterranean backdrop, Flaming June will be shown beside The Maid with Golden Hair, Twixt Hope and Fear and Candida, loaned from private collections and Lachrymae coming from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The re-gathering of these pictures places Flaming June back into the context of its original exhibition, providing a compelling starting-point for exploring its history. Wednesday 2nd November at 14:30 to 15:30.

The Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia takes place from the 31st October until the 6th November.

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